Twins finalize $24M deal with RHP Phil Hughes

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm •  Published: December 5, 2013
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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Phil Hughes has long been on Minnesota's radar.

Thanks to a rough season by the right-hander in New York, the Twins finally added him to their roster.

"He probably wouldn't be sitting here if he had an average year. So maybe this is a good omen for us," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said, adding: "We've got hopes that with a change of scenery that we're going to get him going in the right direction."

Hughes went 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA for the Yankees last season, and the Twins finalized a $24 million, three-year contract with him after he passed his physical Thursday. This was their second significant step toward restoring a ragged rotation, after signing right-hander Ricky Nolasco Tuesday to a $49 million, four-year deal. Twins starters had the worst collective ERA in the majors last season.

"I think it's going to be great. Like Terry said, I struggled last year," Hughes said at an introductory news conference at Target Field. "Coming to a new team, a new place and a ballpark that's obviously a little bit more conducive to pitching is going to help a lot."

Minnesota picked Trevor Plouffe at No. 20 and Glen Perkins at No. 22 in the 2004 draft, and Hughes went from Santa Ana, Calif., to the Yankees at No. 23. After breezing through their minor league system, he made his debut in 2007. When the Twins were shopping Johan Santana in trades before the 2008 season, Hughes was high on their wish list. But the Twins consummated a deal with the Mets, not the Yankees. Hughes had a stellar season as a setup man for the World Series champions in 2009, won 18 games in 2010 and 16 games in a career-high 191-plus innings in 2012.

"I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason," Hughes said. "It wasn't right in 2004 and it wasn't right in 2008, but I think it's going to be right in 2014."

The Twins are banking on a move out of hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium to spacious Target Field will help Hughes rediscover the success he had earlier in his career. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound Hughes was an All-Star in 2010.



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