Mailbag: Perez, Hughes, Catchers, Promotions

Williams has three hits in Tampa loss
2013 Draft: Baseball America's Mock Draft v2.0

Six questions and five answers this week. Use the Submit A Tip box in the sidebar to send us mailbag questions or anything else at any time.

(Gregory Shamus/Getty)
(Gregory Shamus/Getty)

Nick asks: Could the Yankees target Chris Perez as a trade candidate? A deal similar to the Joel Hanrahan trade?

My first thought was no way, but my first thought is often wrong. Not only is Mariano Rivera retiring after this season, but Joba Chamberlain is likely to leave as a free agent too. David Robertson is awesome, but I think the Yankees should add some kind of Proven Veteran™ backup plan to the Shawn Kelleys and Preston Claibornes of the world. My preferred choice as of today is impending free agent Grant Balfour, but that is subject to change.

Perez, 27, owns a 2.25 ERA and 5.72 FIP in 16 innings this year. He’s run into some serious homer problems of late, serving up three to the last eight batters he’s faced. Since getting the closer’s job outright in 2010, Perez has pitched to a 2.80 ERA (3.88 FIP) with a strong strikeout (8.11 K/9 and 21.6 K%) rate but mediocre walk (3.53 BB/9 and 9.4 BB%) and ground ball (34.7%) numbers. He managed to cut his walk rate to 2.50 BB/9 (6.6 BB%) last year, but that hasn’t stuck so far. I think we can say Perez is what he is at this point.

The Hanrahan comparison is perfect. Perez will be a free agent after the 2014 season, so acquiring him this winter means you’d be getting one year of a two-time All-Star, Capital-C Closer like the Red Sox got with Hanrahan. Would the Indians take a package of four spare parts like the Pirates did? Who knows. The Yankees could slap together a package of Dellin Betances, Zoilo Almonte, Eduardo Nunez … guys like that if the Indians will take quantity over quality. Perez has had some run-ins with the Indians brass over the years and could be available, but I want to see how he performs the rest of the season before going all-in.

Johnny asks: How would you handicap the chances of Yankees trading Phil Hughes before deadline?

I think they’re very, very small. This team lives and dies with its pitching as presently constructed, so I don’t see them giving up a rotation arm even if Hughes will be a free agent (and likely leaving) after the season. Maybe if Michael Pineda comes back strong, Ivan Nova figures things out in Triple-A, Vidal Nuno continues to impress in the show … maybe. I’d want a bat in return, preferably at shortstop or catcher. Someone who can help the team today, not prospects. Prospects suck.

Alex asks: Do you think that the Yankees’ preference for bat-first catchers has hindered the development of their minor league pitchers? The Yanks have seemed to be notoriously poor at bringing pitchers up to reach their ceiling for the past decade-plus.

It could be a factor, but I don’t think it’s a big one. Most minor league catchers stink at defense, and it’s not like Gary Sanchez and J.R. Murphy — the teams’ two most notable bat-first catchers — are atrocious defenders. Reports over the last 18 months or so have been very positive about their defensive improvement. Jesus Montero was a miserable defender though, and he did work with most of the team’s top young arms over the years.

I suppose having no confidence in the catcher blocking a breaking ball in the dirt or throwing out base-stealers could alter pitch selection, but pitchers are usually given a set number of pitches to throw per game. A team will tell their guy he needs to throw 25 curveballs or whatever per start as part of his development. Maybe bad defensive catchers have contributed to the team’s lack of success with starting pitching prospects, but I feel like it would be just a small part of the problem.

(David Schofield/Lakewood Blue Claws)
(David Schofield/Lakewood Blue Claws)

Mike asks: Is it time for some promotions in the minor league system? I know Dietrich Enns is 22 already, but he is blowing away the competition in A-ball (along with Rafael DePaula). These guys, along with Murphy and Sanchez, need to go up a level. Right?

Shep asks: Given his early success in Low-A and his “age,” how quickly do you think DePaula will climb the ladder? What is your prediction for his MLB debut?

Gonna lump these two together. We’re starting to approach promotion season, which usually takes place from mid-June through July, when the draft provides some new players to fill roster spots. Enns has been awesome — lefty with a 0.71 ERA (1.34 FIP) and 43/11 K/BB in 25.1 innings for Low-A Charleston — and I expect him to get bumped up to High-A Tampa at midseason. Murphy and Sanchez are repeating levels and have performed plenty well enough to earn midseason promotions. Some other obvious promotion candidates include (stats don’t include last night’s games):

  • C Peter O’Brien: His defense is awful, but he’s hitting .328/.392/.586 (165 wRC+) with five homers for Low-A Charleston.
  • 2B Rob Refsnyder: Hitting .335/.440/.451 (~158 wRC+) and has already been promoted once. Bumping him up to Double-A Trenton allows Angelo Gumbs to play second everyday with High-A Tampa as well.
  • RHP Tommy Kahnle: 1.77 ERA (3.50 FIP) with 23 strikeouts and 13 walks in 20.1 innings. Another few weeks of that and he should be ready for Triple-A Scranton.
  • RHP Shane Greene: Repeating High-A Tampa with a 3.07 ERA (2.36 FIP) and a 53/8 K/BB in 55.2 innings. Get this man to Double-A Trenton.

DePaula is another animal entirely. The numbers — 2.38 ERA (1.96 FIP) with a 74/19 K/BB in 45.1 innings — are outstanding for Low-A Charleston, but he’s also short on pitching experience because of his various layoffs (suspension, visa) despite being 22 years old. VP of Baseball Ops Mark Newman told Chad Jennings a promotion isn’t imminent because he’s “got to develop secondary pitches. He hasn’t pitched that much competitively.”

I do think DePaula will get moved up to High-A Tampa at midseason, but he might spend another four or six weeks with the River Dogs first. Let’s see what happens when the league gets a second and third look at him, how he holds up physically under the workload, stuff like that. DePaula is on a weird development schedule and I’m generally not a fan of promoting starters after 50 or so dominant innings. As for his big league debut … second half of 2015 at the absolute earliest? DePaula will get promoted eventually, there’s no rush.

Travis asks: With the upcoming roster crunch (when DL players start coming back), is there going to come a point where is may make sense to bring Manny Banuelos up from the Triple-A DL to put him on the 60-day DL for MLB? I know they didn’t want to lose a year of control, but at the halfway point, would it be a lost year?

The Super Two date is sometime in early-June, so yeah, there’s a definitely a point where calling him up to clear a roster spot makes sense. Banuelos’ free agency has already been pushed back and they’re only two or three weeks from avoiding Super Two. They might actually be passed that date already since he’s not going to be in the big leagues on Opening Day next year.

There’s still some dead weight on the 40-man roster that can be trimmed — Ben Francisco, Reid Brignac, Melky Mesa, Francisco Rondon, etc. — but the Yankees have six guys expected to come off the 60-day DL in the next two months. Letting Banuelos accrue just a few weeks of service time would be no big deal under the circumstances.

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Williams has three hits in Tampa loss
2013 Draft: Baseball America's Mock Draft v2.0
  • Two Eddards are Better than One

    We don’t think we need any bullpen help. That’s the strongest part of the club right now. More help is needed on offense. And I don’t like giving up the farm for a non-closer reliever. Robertson is the heir apparent.

    I think Hughes is a good trade candidate for an NL club looking for a decent fly ball pitcher. His contract will be up after this year and with the austerity budget they won’t be able to give him $10 million/yr. Plus, we’ve got Phelps and Pineda waiting in the wings.

    Ben Francisco needs to be cut immediately. Even a one-dimensional player has a dimension. Even a pitcher would be able to help the ballclub out more than a RH bat that can’t run, can’t play good defense and can’t hit either handed pitcher.

    • Mattchu12

      It’s not really about the 2013 bullpen, it’s about the 2014 bullpen. Perez would carry over. That being said, I’d rather find someone more reliable than Perez if we’re not going to roll the dice on some of the internal arms we’ve currently got.

      I think you have to keep Hughes. He’s been very good for us, and is a proven AL East mid-rotation guy. Pettitte and Kuroda could both retire, and I’m not comfortable with the idea of Sabathia-Pineda-Phelps-Nova as my top four in 2014. I’d like to give Hughes what he asks for and keep him on for the next few seasons.

      He’s still only 26 and his best years could still be ahead of him.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        It all depends on the price. If teams are as desperate as some of these comments and give him a 4/40 then they should immediately pass. Too much money for an average starter.

        Since he started pitching in 2010 there are 86 starting pitchers that accumulated at least the same amount of innings as Hughes. FanGraph’s favorite tool SIERA has him pegged the 59th best one. Actually it’s easier to say that Hughes’ SIERA is the 27th worst in the group.

        Not a fan of SIERA? xFIP and FIP has Hughes as the 10th worst starter during this time frame.

        But wait, he pitches in the AL East which is 5000 times harder than any other division! xFIP- and FIP- were created to be the pitching equivalent of wRC+ but in this case the lower the number the better. This is park and league adjusted meaning every pitcher is on the same foot. According to these metrics xFIP- has Hughes improving to a whopping 7 spots making him only the 17th worst starter in this group. FIP- makes him the 19th worst.

        But like what happens when I do this in every Hughes thread the pitching metrics are either ignored or thrown out the window. Hughes has been massively overrated. He’s average nothing more. He’s not some core player here, he’s not an Andy Pettitte or anything. And by Andy pettitte I’m not talking vintage 2001 Andy, I don’t think he can hold a candle to 2009 Andy to present day Andy.

        Now let me just bookmark this thread when the next thread pops up about resigning Hughes for like 3 to 5 years.

  • Shep

    Thanks for the response, Mike. I appreciate it.

  • Phil

    Interesting Q & A’s…If Pineda is throwing 90-95 and has command of his pitches he will be with the parent club at the end of June.

    Regarding Phil Hughes Yanks should at least check what the return would be for him if traded. I don’t think Cashman should rule that out because I can see Mr. Hughes pitching in San Diego next year.

    Tex, Pineda, Cervelli, Youk, Joba, Nunez all should be back by July 1 or sooner. That is some shot in the arm near the halfway point. Finally I don’t mention Jeter because I have my doubts he will be at full strength this season.

    • MannyGeee

      San Diego, in theory, makes sense. But I doubt they’ll sign a “front line” type starter. The Padres sign pitchers like Stults and Marquis, not Hughes.

      Think 100 miles north, in Dodger Blue.

      • Sayid

        Ah, if only Hughes were a front line type starter. What a delight it would be!

    • Havok9120

      There’s no reason to think that the team hasn’t been listening to offers on (or even actively shopping) Hughes for years now. It’s just part of everyday GM due diligence. I’m just not sure why people think he’d fetch a return worth what the Yanks would be giving up.

  • MannyGeee

    I am of the mind that you don’t trade Hughes when you’re in the hunt for the playoffs. Thas said, I feel like Hughes will be a Dodger next year.

    Could Dee Gorden be a legit target if Pineda/Nuno/Nova/Phelps all exceed expectations this summer? The Dodgers don’t seem to love him, and he comes across as a typical leadoff hitting, speed & defense 1st short stop, only 25 and still under team control. Not gonna wow you with the bat, but he actually steals bases when healthy (coughGardnercough) and would be in a position of need.

    #MyTradeProposalSucks

    • jsbrendog

      if you can get dee gordon for hughes i will take a week off and drive hughes there myself.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Dee Gordon is awful. Worse than Nunez awful.

        • trr

          Ouch!

      • Mattchu12

        Have you looked at Dee Gordon lately? I’d rather have Nix out there.

    • SDB

      It’s a pity Gordon can’t steal first. He’ll have perhaps a 2 week hot streak, otherwise he’ll make Nunez and Gardner look like Mike Trout by comparison.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    I think there’s a decent chance the Yanks trade Hughes.

    With CC, Kuroda, Andy locked into rotation spots, Pineda coming back to claim one of the spots there is only 1 spot left. Phelps is outpitching Hughes and we have him under control for another what 4 years? I think he’ll be given the opportunity to keep his spot as long as they can find a decent bat on the trade market for Phil.

    • JohnC

      Disagree. Pettite has proven to be very brittle this year as age has finally caught up to him. Can’t depend on him to stay healthy the rest of the year. We don’t know how Pineda is going to be once he does come back. Could easilty suffer through ‘dead arm’ periods from an increased work load once he becomes a starter again between that and all the rehab he has gone through. Can’t count on Nova either. I serously doubt they trade Hughes

      • http:/www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

        Couldn’t agree more. Pineda is no sure thing at this point, let the guy pitch for AAA before we are giving him a rotation spot. Also Hughes is no ace but he is definite protection and you know what you are getting from him. If one of the 40 year old guys gets hurt (entirely possible) he is a good pitcher to step in and fill the void. If you trade Hughes, then you are relying on Nova who you can’t help but be considerably down on at this point and over-relying Phelps, who I believe is a good pitcher, but not a great one.

        • TheOneWhoKnocks

          Phelps has a 4.12 FIP and 3.89 xFIP in 142 IP at the big league level now.

          Hughes career as a starter is 4.52 FIP and 4.54 xFIP

          I think people seriously need to stop overvaluing Hughes. He’s incredibly replaceable.

          • The Oberamtmann

            If he’s so replaceable, nobody will want to give up anything of value for him.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

            Nova also had very good numbers early in his career.
            Hughes is a reasonably solid 4 at this point.
            Phelps might be that.
            Hughes isn’t irreplaceable. But he is a useful, legit starter. And there are enough to questions with the rest of the rotation that it would be foolish to sacrifice that, unless they were getting something substantial in return, which isn’t likely.

          • Mattchu12

            Do you really want to compare 82 innings as a starter for Phelps to over 620 innings for Hughes? Phelps is the over-value here.

            • Greg

              Isolating his starting innings doesn’t make much sense, because nearly all of his relief pitching has come in a long relief role, which doesn’t differ from starting in any meaningful way.

              That aside, are you saying that because Phelps has yet to pitch enough innings for his numbers to be as reliable, he’ll necessarily be worse going forward than his numbers would suggest?

          • Havok9120

            Even if that’s the case (which I’m not sure of) what motivation does that give other teams to trade for him with anything but similarly replaceable parts? Like, say, a BU catcher with no bat, or an all-glove SS, or an offensively inept super utility man?

    • gageagainstthemachine

      I get what you’re saying here, but I think the likelihood of Hughes being re-signed is greater than him being traded. For all the Yankees know, Pineda is still a mystery going forward (despite all the years of control, his shoulder could turn to mush tomorrow). Plus, you have Andy and Kuroda just as (if not) more likely to retire (or return to Japan in Kuroda’s case) at the end of this season. The team could be facing a pretty severe pitching shortage if those two leave, Pineda’s shoulder blows up like Alderaan, and Hughes is traded or signs elsewhere. I think this shows why the Yankees were so keen to lock up pitching in the off-season last winter rather than seek big line-up additions. Look what the “fill-ins” have done, but where would they be without good pitching. So, my bet is they re-sign Hughes before they trade. The only reason it kind of stings is all the rollercoaster rides he puts the fans through.

  • J

    Teams like the Yankees, who are trying to make the postseason, do not trade one of their five best starters. It doesn’t happen. Either they re-sign him after the year or he leaves via free agency. The Yankees are not trading Hughes.

    • TheOneWhoKnocks

      I agree, but they wouldn’t be trading one of their five best starters.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        Who are the five better?

        Sabathia
        Kuroda
        Pettitte
        Phelps
        ???

        Nuno? Nova? Pineda? lol

        • TheOneWhoKnocks

          Pineda obviously.

          It’s reasonable to doubt if he will be 100%. It’s not reasonable to doubt that he’s the better pitcher, when healthy.

          Hughes has a 4.67 FIP and 4.45 xFIP over the past couple seasons. He currently has a 4.90 this season, so it’s not as if he’s showing improvement that we need to account for.
          That puts him in a class with pitchers like Dice-K, Bruce Chen, Hochevar, Nova(LOL), Arieta, Blanton, Colon, Pavano, Humber.
          In other words, guys who you don’t go out of your way to accommodate and if were placed on waivers it wouldn’t be a huge shock.
          I think he’s a lot less valuable than most fans make him out to be, and he’s definitely not a good fit for Yankee Stadium with his fly ball tendencies.
          He was a nice pitcher to have while he was cheap, but he’s certainly not worth an extension and I wouldn’t stunt the development of Phelps or Pineda to keep him in the rotation.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

            I think he’s a lot less valuable than most fans make him out to be, and he’s definitely not a good fit for Yankee Stadium with his fly ball tendencies.

            That’s funny, I had the same thought about the guy coming off major shoulder surgery.

          • Havok9120

            We currently have no reason to believe that Pineda will actually be fully healthy ever again. I’m a Pineda optimist of the highest order but A) the dude could simply be totally ineffective upon his return or get re-injured tomorrow and B) there’s a good chance that between the rehab stint and the MiLB time to get the extra control year that he’s not ready for the MLB club before July.

            The way the injuries have piled up around Pettitte, the way they still could around Kuroda, the way Pineda is a question mark, and the way Nova is, well, Nova, the Yanks would be incredibly foolish to trade Hughes on the theory that he’s not one of their five best starters if everything breaks correctly and nobody gets hurt. Especially since the return would likely be negligible at best.

    • mt

      Agreed – Yanks will hold on to Hughes this year especially with a brittle Pettite, recovering Pineda, and Nova (already injured.)

      Those wanting Hughes back as a FA need to answer 1) do you want him back even if Yanks stick to $189 million plan 2)given his relatively age and injuries of some of the other starting pitcher free agents, do you really want to give him a big contract ( 4 years at $55-65 mm or 5 years at 65-75 mm)? What else will we then not try to upgrade? 3) eevn if Yanks offer him a 4 or 5 year deal, if other teams offer around the same money Yanks do, why would flyball Phil want to come back here? Unless he has undying love for Yanks as the team that brought him to majors, his stats will look a lot better out of AL East and he is still young enough to get another free agent contract at 31 or 32 when this FA contract ends. In the immediate future Yanks also may no longer offer an elite offense, great infield defense (with weaknesses of Jeter and Arod), or the corporate mantra to do or spend anything to win.

      I think Yanks will overpay Cano in dollars and years to some extent to stay here but I can’t see Yanks offering Phil a contract that is not easily matched by a slew of other teams, inlcuding West Coast teams that have bigger stadiums.

      If there were no $189 mm plan, I would be a lot more interested in keeping him.

  • Bo Knows

    I think there should be an urgency to promote De Paula, yes its been around 50 innings but at the same time they have been both insanely dominate, and considering he’ll only throw maybe 120-130 innings (and that’s being optimistic) he’s almost completed half his workload. Also its not like his development is going to stop with a promotion, he’ll still be developing his pitches. Lastly, a promotion might very well force him to rely on his secondary offerings, which will improve his comfort level with them.

    I think Dylan Bundy said it best last year when he spoke about how all you need in the low minors is a good fastball, while getting promoted forced him to throw his other pitches far more frequently.

    • Havok9120

      There’s also the, equally anecdotal, argument that if your secondary stuff is so totally outmatched by the better hitters at the next level then you’re far more likely to fall back on your dominant fastball. The fact that Dylan Bundy is, y’know, Dylan Bundy probably helped him there too. I’ve no idea which is more likely, but none of us have ever seen the guy pitch and few, if any, of us would have the standing to properly critique him even if we had. The Yankees, on the other hand, know exactly what they have in the guy since he’s basically lived in their facilities in the DR for quite some time now.

      • Bo Knows

        Bundy is exceptional that is true, but he’s said as much that he very rarely threw his secondary offerings very much in his low A starts.

        Also here is an article from someone who’s seen De Paula

        http://prospect361.com/2013/05.....-de-paula/

        this was from one of his “bad” starts

    • Greg

      I’m honestly kinda skeptical about this whole “needs to work on secondaries” thing. A lot of pitchers in low A have good fastballs, and De Paula is pretty much in a class by himself in K rate and SIERA, and that just isn’t going to happen without relatively advanced secondary pitches unless his fastball is absolutely extraordinary…in which case he probably wouldn’t have too much trouble with high A either. From what I understand his fastball is usually in the 92-94 mph range which would be well above average for the SAL but not exceptional, and he’s a bit on the wild side, so I doubt his command is making all the difference. Whatever he’s throwing, it’s at least good enough for the FSL, that’s the most obvious thing in the world.

  • mitch

    I don’t get why everybody wants to trade Hughes. Having too much starting pitching isn’t a problem, and a lot of things still have to happen before it’s even an issue on this team. Let’s see if Andy can stay healthy, Nova can bounce back, Pineda can make a full recovery, and Phelps can string together a couple months worth of good starts before we deal a guy who has proven to be a pretty solid pitcher.

    • TheOneWhoKnocks

      I’d trade him because he’s not better than CC, Kuroda, Andy, Phelps or Pineda.

      Where does he fit when Pineda comes back? I know there’s no such thing as too much starting pitching, and this situation will probably take care of itself but the point is, no one is suggesting trading him for the sake of trading him. You trade him if you can get a solid bat for him, because we have a greater need for a solid bat than we do for an average back end starter.

      A team like the dodgers/padres/angels with a fly ball pitcher friendly stadium and a need for pitching might be willing to give up a good return for Hughes.

      • Buddy

        How in the world can you count on Pineda?

        Are you even paying attention to the injuries that are happening to this team?? If Pineda even has a moderate set back he may not pitch in the majors at all this year…

        • TheOneWhoKnocks

          Are you paying attention to the lineups we are trotting out there?
          If they can get an average bat for Hughes, they should.
          Even if Pineda doesn’t return you still have a great rotation with CC, Kuroda, Andy, Phelps as the front 4 and with Nova/Warren/Nuno as some combination for the 5th starter.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

            1) Why would a team give up an average everday bat for half a season of a 4th starter? A team looking to add at the deadline is extremely unlikely to part with a starting caliber bat.
            2) Which position would this bat play. There’s no way Hughes isgoing to return a league average player at SS or C. The other positions are all covered unless there are more injuries/setbacks (I suppose maybe OF, if they don’t think Wells will be league avg the rest of the year).
            3) That’s probably a good rotation, if/when everybody is healthy. The chances of the top 3 being healthy the rest of the year – slim. The chances of Phelps continuing to pitch as he has – questionable. That scenario can very quickly turn into a rotation downgrade from what they have now.

        • trr

          Spot on Buddy – I think everyone is over-valuing Pineda at this point. Sure, he may be that pitcher onr day, or he may be the next Ivan Nova

      • Dalek Jeter

        You cannot know that Phelps is better than Hughes at this point. Phelps has thrown a total of 142 innings thus far out of the bullpen and rotation and has put up some pretty damn good numbers, but Ivan Nova was also very, very good through his first 140 or so innings. Right now the rotation should be:

        Kuroda
        Sabathia
        Pettitte
        Hughes
        Phelps

        Then if/when Nova comes back, stick him in triple A for the rest of the season, and when Pineda gets healthy and is ready to go (as in he’s blowing away the minors) Stick Phelps back into the bullpen and slide Pineda into his rotation spot. Then when the season comes to an end, evaluate Pineda. If he is what he was a few years ago with the Mariners, resign Hughes (if the contract is reasonable) hope one of Kuroda or Pettitte can/want to come back (fingers crossed on Kuroda) and your 2014 rotation is:
        Kuroda
        Sabathia
        Pineda
        Hughes
        Phelps

        • TheOneWhoKnocks

          We’re at the point with Phelps where his sample size of being the superior pitcher to Hughes can no longer be ignored.
          I don’t stick him in the pen for Hughes. At all.
          If the best case scenario plays out and CC, Kuroda, Andy, Phelps and Pineda are all healthy than Hughes is the obvious odd man out, and it isn’t particularly close.

          • Dalek Jeter

            No, we really haven’t. He hasn’t even pitched 200 innings in the big leagues yet. Everybody and their mother was saying the same thing about Nova before the beginning of last season, and now he’s the 6th, maybe 7th guy on the starter depth chart.

          • Mattchu12

            What sample size? Four starts? You do realize that beyond the two stinkers, Hughes has been kind of awesome this season, right? Phelps has 82 innings of solid pitching as a starter, Hughes has over 600..

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

            Phelps has made 15 career starts and been limited to a pitch count in about nine of them. We know next to nothing about him as a starter. Let’s see what happens when the league gets a second look at him in the rotation.

          • emac2

            I agree.

            I think people also forget that you don’t trade someone for nothing and if someone thinks Hughes is too good to trade they should expect that we get someone back that is just as good but at a position of need.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

              Rotation is still currently a position of need. The point is that Hughes likely isn’t going to return anything significant in a different position of need, so it makes more sense to hold on to him, given all of the questions in the rotation.

              • emac2

                The trade was assuming Pineda comes back healthy and Nova continues to pitch well.

                I also don’t think ANYONE is saying we should trade Hughes for the fun of it. If we don’t get anything back we don’t make a trade but I think he would be a very effective pitcher for a lot of teams in the second half and lesser pitchers have returned a lot in trade.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

            What are the odds of the best case scenario and health for the remainder of the season for the 5 you name?
            Maybe 10%?

            Sure there’s a chance Hughes ends up the odd man out at some point in the season (in which case he could still be very useful in the bullpen).
            The chance of the happening (especially happening for a significant stretch of time) is very slim.

          • Havok9120

            You do realize that the guy you’re replying to didn’t stick Phelps in the pen for Hughes, right? That he actually has them both in the rotation for the foreseeable future?

            • Dalek Jeter

              I do have Phelps going to the bullpen for part of this season if(!!!!!!) CC, Kuroda, and Pettitte all stay healthy AND Hughes continues to pitch decently enough AND Pineda comes back close to his 2011 form.

      • Mattchu12

        He fits over Pineda, and Phelps, and everyone else. No question about it. He’s even taking over Pettitte at this point if he can’t stay healthy.

  • Laz

    I’m on the opposite side if they trade Hughes, I want prospects.
    You really think they would bench Jeter, so it’s no point getting a SS. Rest of infield is set, and outfield is set. If you can get a catcher sure, but how many teams are trading good catchers?