Phil Hughes Agrees to 1 year $3.2 million deal with Yankees

17 Jan

Yankee pitcher Phil Hughes signed a $3.2 million, one-year contract, a raise of $500,000 that followed an injury filled season in 2011 in which he was of little use to the team. The most cited cause of his decline was tired arm or dead arm depending on who you ask. There was also speculation that Hughes was carrying a bit more weight than Yankee trainers thought was healthy for him. Rumor is, Hughes dropped a few Lbs. over the winter is ready to go full steam ahead in 2012.

At 25 years old, Hughes can earn an extra $225,000 in performance bonuses under the deal: $50,000 for 20 starts, and $25,000 each for 23, 26, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33 starts. The deal is not guaranteed as reported to MLB.com. That is not much of a surprise because Hughes may not be a starter at the beginning of the year – at least not with the Yankees. The Yankees have 7 starters going into spring training and the rumor is they will try to move one of them. AJ Burnett is who they would most like to move, but whispers have been swirling that Hughes may go if the price is right.

Currently, Hughes is expected to compete for the 5th spot in the rotation, and he is not necessarily the favorite for it. The odds are however that Hughes breaks camp with the team and does get some April starts while the schedule is wonky. According to one insider, Girardi is fiddling around with the idea of giving his big guns in the rotation a smaller April workload this year with the hopes of keeping them sharp down the pennant stretch and hopefully into the playoffs. To that end, Hughes would be a great fit. Also keep in mind that Hughes is a terrific weapon to go to should there be an injury problem. Pineda has had health issues in the past and Burnett could implode at any moment. At $3.2 million, he’s an excellent insurance policy.

 

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