You can scratch another possible free agent off of the Mets list — reports Sunday say Phil Hughes will sign with the Minnesota Twins.
Hughes will get a three-year, $24 million contract, bucking conventional wisdom that he would go for a one-year deal to rebuild his value after a miserable 2013 for the Yankees.
This could be the steal of the winter for the Twins. If Hughes can get back to being the pitcher who won 18 and 16 games in 2010 and 2012, respectively, then this could turn out to be one the biggest bargains in all of baseball.
It makes sense for Hughes as well — he gets his millions, and if he can regain his form over the next three seasons, he will be a free agent again when he is only 30, which is still young enough to sign a mega-bucks contract.
The Mets reportedly did not even want to go two years for Phil Hughes, so certainly they would not have extended to three seasons. It is understandable because with a limited budget and lots of young pitching on the way, spending $8 million for Hughes was not necessary.
But the Mets still have to send out a starting rotation in 2014, and right now there are only three members of it. Phil Hughes would have been a nice fit — a fly ball pitcher in cavernous Citi Field — and he would have been easy to trade on a reasonable contract if he proves himself competent again.
But the Mets decided to go the conservative route once again. Bronson Arroyo rumors notwithstanding, it appears the Mets will once again scrape the bottom of the starting pitcher barrel to fill out the rotation; the same brilliant strategy that brought the likes of Chris Capuano, Chris Young and Shaun (1-10) Marcum to the Mets.