Yankees Trade Rumors: New York Must Get Whatever It Can for Phil Hughes

Benjamin Klein@BenjaminJKleinContributor IIIJuly 30, 2013

May 15, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes (65) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees need to do whatever it takes to get starting pitcher Phil Hughes out of the organization, even if it means giving him up for next to nothing.

The problem for general manager Brian Cashman is that whenever his phone rings, the general manager on the other side doesn’t want to talk about Hughes. Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.com tweeted that the Yankees have yet to receive even one offer that would include the right-hander, which isn’t good for Cashman:

It shouldn’t come as a shock that Hughes has little-to-no trade value these days. The righty has had a rough year, as he’s 4-9 with a 4.58 ERA through 20 starts. He has also struck out 93 batters and walked 31 through 112 innings of work while only completing six innings once in his last four starts.

The Bronx Bombers entered Tuesday 7.5 games back in the AL East, which isn’t too bad, but not great either.

It’s going to take quite a run in the last few weeks for them to clinch a spot in the postseason. But there’s no way that the Yankees will make the playoffs with Hughes pitching every fifth day. He’s been, and will continue to be, a huge liability.

Hughes has been the worst starting pitcher on the Yankees in terms of WAR this season among Yankees pitchers who have made at least five starts, per FanGraphs. David Phelps, who is currently making a rehab stint and should be back in New York before you know it, deserves Hughes’ spot in the rotation.

There’s another player who could also wind up in the rotation over Hughes in the near future. That’s Michael Pineda, who the Yankees acquired in January 2012 trade with the Seattle Mariners, but has yet to throw a pitch in pinstripes during the regular season. He’s currently working his way back to the big leagues and may be close to making his Yankees debut.

Pineda has made nine starts in New York’s minor league system and hasn’t been too shabby. He’s 2-1 with a 3.49 ERA in 38.2 innings. It appears that his command has been good, as he has struck out 41 batters and walked just 12. It wouldn’t be crazy to see him get a shot in the rotation either.

Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported earlier that the Yankees were trying to acquire a bat in exchange for Hughes. New York has already added Alfonso Soriano, but there are still some weaknesses that the Yankees could look to improve before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 31.

Heyman notes that the Angels are a team that has had interest in having Hughes pitch for them in the past, although it’s unknown if they would still be motivated to acquire him. Hughes is from California and may just need a change of scenery to turn his career around. The Angels could probably use some pitching depth too.

Hughes is set to be a free agent at the end of the season and there’s no reason why the Yankees should be interested in bringing him back. He’s been highly inconsistent and wouldn’t be worth giving a qualifying offer.

You never know if he’s going to win 15 or more games or if you can count his victories on one hand at season’s end.

With the Yankees soon to have a few options to throw into their starting rotation, it makes sense to get rid of Hughes. It doesn’t matter that New York likely won’t get much of anything in exchange for him. He’s hurting the team and Cashman needs to take it upon himself to do something about it.


All statistics in this article were obtained via FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and are current through July 28.

All injury information obtained via Baseball Prospectus and all contract information was obtained via Cot’s Contracts.