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Phil Hughes Wikipedia NoMaas Yankees Twins

Minnesota Star-Tribune:

The Twins are expected to announce the signing of free-agent righthander Phil Hughes to a three-year, $24 million deal this week, according to a person with knowledge of negotiations.

Hughes could be in the Twin Cities as early as this weekend for a physical, the person said.

When we suggested Phil Hughes would get a multi-year deal, some people thought we were crazy. It’s no secret why Phil chose Minnesota. Over the last 3 years, Target Field has been a ballpark that suppresses home runs, including last year where it was the toughest AL location to homer — according to MLB park factors.

With that said, Hughes’ departure tugs at the emotions a little bit. During the 2005 season, Brian Cashman urgently stated the following:

“We have to get back to doing what made the Yankees so good for such a long period beginning in the ’90s. We’re in the position we’re in because we stopped developing our own young players.”

“… storm clouds are on the horizon if we keep just staying old. You’ve got to reinvent yourself with youth and mix them in with the veterans, instead of going all veterans.”

After ignoring the farm system for years, the Yankees had signaled a new approach, and Phil Hughes was THE symbol of this fresh perspective. He dominated the minor leagues and Baseball America ranked him as the 4th-best prospect heading into 2007, the year he made his MLB debut.

While his first start was a rough one, his debut thrilled many Yankees fans longing for a new homegrown hero — and then, he nearly pulls off a no-hitter in his next start against Texas?!? The Yankees FINALLY had a young player we could watch grow up and be successful…so we thought….

Fast forward six years from his debut, and the former phenom is on his way to the Twinkies after failing to live up to the hype in New York. As a starter with the Bombers, he had a 4.74 ERA/4.48 FIP/4.43 xFIP — a far cry from once being considered a rising star. Oh, and the Yankees still have a farm system problem (yet everyone gets to somehow keep their jobs).

While it was probably best for Phil and the Yankees to move on, it’s sad that the outcome was entirely different than expected. It’s disappointing because not only was he a top prospect, but he symbolized the Yankees’ renewed emphasis on the farm system. He was the first “kid” that Yankees fans were excited about in a long time. It will be weird watching him in a Minnesota jersey.

Best of luck, Phil.

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