The Yankees are said to be “aggressive pushing” Phil Hughes on the trade market in hopes of landing a bat, but Joel Sherman says they aren’t just looking for a short-term fix. They want a position player they can control for multiple years. Sherman hears the team will make Hughes a qualifying offer after the season and either recoup a draft pick or get him back on a one-year deal (if he accepts), which they don’t mind. “(They) believe, at worst, he would be tradeable if that were the case,” he writes.
Hughes, 27, has a 4.57 ERA and 4.48 FIP in 102.1 innings spread across 18 starts this season. His strikeout (7.74 K/9 and 20.5 K%) and walk (2.29 BB/9 and 6.1 BB%) rates are better than the league average but not eye-popping, and, as usual, his bugaboo remains the long ball (1.58 HR/9 and 11.8% HR/FB). Hughes would almost certainly benefit from playing in a larger home park, which is why the Yankees don’t expect him to accept the qualifying offer after the season, Sherman says. Given his age and strong non-homer peripherals, other clubs are expected to offer multi-year pacts this winter. Either way, this next few weeks figure to be Phil’s last in pinstripes. It’s just a question of whether he’s traded or walk away on his own.