Why the San Diego Padres Need to Sign Phil Hughes in the Offseason

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Why the San Diego Padres Need to Sign Phil Hughes in the Offseason
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Phil Hughes can escape New York after the 2013 season, and the Padres would be wise to help him do it.

Phil Hughes will not be in pinstripes come 2014.

His jarring home-away splits are reason enough to make this claim. He's not meant for Yankee Stadium. On the road, he pitches to the tune of a 3.67 ERA with a .252 batting average against, and in New York, a 6.02 ERA and a .304 batting average against.

This says it all:

The right-hander is known to give up a ton of homers, but an overwhelming number of them have come in New York (14 home versus six away).

Hughes will be a free agent after the 2013 season, and he needs to get out of the American League. He's a fly-ball pitcher, so a pitcher's park is a must if he wants to be dominant or even middle of the road.

San Diego's Petco Park heavily favors pitchers, according to Park Factors. Whereas Yankee Stadium has the sixth-highest park factor in baseball, Petco has the fourth-lowest (the higher the park factor, the more conducive to runs and home runs the stadium is).

Edinson Volquez is also a free agent after this season, and he's having one of the worst seasons of his career, so it's unlikely the Friars will look to re-sign him. San Diego has a pitching-first mentality, so it will be looking for an upgrade in the offseason.

Just considering Hughes' away stats, he looks better on paper than all San Diego starters but Eric Stults—and Stults has been a surprise considering his inability to stay in the majors in the past. The Padres managed to stave off mediocrity this year as they currently sit third in the NL West, but if they want to stay even somewhat relevant in the division, adding a younger arm will help their cause.

I'll also mention that Hughes is from SoCal, so I can check nostalgia off the list. And just to continue that sentimental plug, Hughes would be reunited with fellow Yankees farm system-alum Ian Kennedy.

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