Colorado Rockies Reportedly Interested in Acquiring Phil Hughes as a Reliever

Kenny DeJohn@@kennydejohnAnalyst IIIJuly 14, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 13:  Phil Hughes #65 of the New York Yankees looks on against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium on July 13, 2013  in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Ken Rosenthal of reports that the Colorado Rockies are interested in acquiring New York Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes, with plans to use him as a reliever rather than as a starter.

Earlier in the week, Rosenthal had tweeted that the Yankees were "aggressively shopping" Hughes, along with fellow right-hander Joba Chamberlain.

The fact that the Rockies are interested in Hughes as a reliever is compelling for two reasons.

First, it means that Hughes' versatility could bring more suitors to the Yankees as the July 31 trade deadline rolls around. If this is the case, the Yankees may have the luxury of picking the best package available.

Second, it speaks to what other teams think about Hughes as a starter. He has been on and off this season, pitching to a 4.57 ERA and 4.48 FIP in 18 starts. He has allowed 18 home runs in 102.1 innings, following a season in which he allowed 35 big flies in 191.1 innings.

Allowing an exorbitant amount of home runs has always been a part of his game, so pitching in Coors Field may not be the best place for him. As a fly-ball pitcher, Hughes is prone to giving up homers.

Sticking Hughes in the bullpen would be an interesting move for Colorado. Its rotation currently consists of Jhoulys Chacin, Jorge de la Rosa, Tyler Chatwood, Juan Nicasio and Roy Oswalt, who is on the disabled list. Hughes would presumably be an upgrade over Oswalt, but Colorado still wants to put him in the 'pen.

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It would be interesting to see who the Rockies may offer for Hughes. The Yankees need bats and will certainly seek young, impact position players in return. The role that Hughes is predicted to play will have an impact on the talent level, though.

Tyler Colvin, Jordan Pacheco and Josh Rutledge would likely all be of interest to Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, though Rutledge and Pacheco could prove difficult to pry away from Colorado. A swap of Colvin and a low-level prospect for Hughes could work for both teams.

The July 31 trade deadline is creeping ever closer, so it won't be long before we see major trades go down. While not major, this potential deal would have implications on the futures of both squads. It's worth monitoring moving forward.