The Curse of Jerry Hairston, Jr./Eric Hinske:
 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

NY Post: A big season by Hughes could seal end of time with Yankees

Essentially there are two ways to get better: Score more or give up less. So if the Yankees are going to score less next year, then to remain a high-end contender they likely will have to give up less, as well.

That is a fragile proposition because of the age and physical questions surrounding their front three starters: CC Sabathia, Kuroda and Pettitte. If that trio makes 80-90 starts, then the Yankees should have a strong rotation. But to be among the best in the majors and provide greater protection against the fragility atop the rotation and the regression of the offense, the Yankees need this irony: Phil Hughes to pitch so well in 2013 that he prices himself off the team in 2014.

Hughes is a free agent after next year and this offseason has accentuated that teams will move heaven, earth, top prospects and huge paydays for starting pitching. The Royals (James Shields) and Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey) gave up huge prospect hauls for top-of-the-rotation starters. But when it comes to Hughes, the more interesting cases would be the four-year, $52 million pact Edwin Jackson received from the Cubs and the six-year, $80 million package Detroit handed Anibal Sanchez.

With a strong walk year, Hughes could make a case that he belongs somewhere in the scale between Jackson and Sanchez — who knows, maybe more. Remember that next offseason is when the Yankees are pledging to drop under the $189 million luxury tax threshold. So will they be able to sign Hughes long term? Will they even be able to put the one-year tender (roughly $13.8 million) on him, which could curtail his marketability since a signing team would lose a draft pick?

Obviously, I’m hoping Hughes has a big year.  But that probably means he’s gone, because the new thrifty Yankees aren’t likely to spend the money to keep Robinson Cano and Hughes and Hughes is the more replaceable of the two.  It actually wouldn’t shock me to see neither one back.

It’ll be tough to deal with after watching Hughes’s struggles and triumphs, especially if he builds on 2012 and continues to establish himself as a solid mid-rotation starter.  I really don’t think he’ll ever turn into the ace we hoped he’d be, but I think the best is yet to come for him and it’ll stink if it’s happening in another team’s uniform.  It’s one thing to not bid on other team’s free agents, but when you start letting your homegrown players go because of a self-imposed payroll limit you’re really risking the alienation of a segment of your fanbase.

--Posted at 10:27 am by SG / 12 Comments | - (0)

Comments

Page 1 of 1 pages:

You know, the Yankees could mitigate against the impact of Hughes leaving via free agency by simply developing more players thru their farm system. I’d like to blame the Steinbrenner’s self-imposed budget, but the reality is, if the front office did a better job with their minor league players this wouldn’t be as big an issue.

[0] Obviously, I’m hoping Hughes has a big year.  But that probably means he’s gone

I don’t think that’s necessarily true - actually I’ll take it a step further and say that it’s not true. ~$85M commmitted to 2014, plus figure $20M AAV for Cano to be conservative makes $105M.  9 arbitration eligible players and then they need an OF, 4 starting pitchers, a bench and maybe two bullpen pitchers.  I can’t see Hughes getting anymore than $15M AAV, and I’d bet on something more like $12M/$13M.  Seems totally doable.

They should extend Hughes right now to a 40 million 4 year contract. At least try.

[3] I still think they could get him for less, but the idea of extending him is the correct one.

Or they can let him walk and make Joba a starter. Or trade him now and see what kind of haul he can bring in. or sign him. Or do nothing which seems like that is their final answer.

the idea of extending him is the correct one.

If this was business as usually, yes, but with the budget I don’t agree.  I mean this is a guy who we spent most of May debating if he should be pulled from the rotation for good.  And to be fair, it really wasn’t much of a debate.  It was more “The Yankees are crazy for not moving him back to the pen yet.” 

I think it is way too fickle to commit long term to the guy based on 4 months.  He was horrible last year and he was pretty bad the 2nd half of 2010 after being very good the first half of 2010.  I think it is way too early to say his struggles are behind him forever and he is going to continue on the rest of his career the same pitcher he was the last 4 months.  I think Hughes is exactly the type of player you do wait and do nothing with just so you can get an extra years worth of information. 

That being said, I completely agree with SG.  If he does finally become a consistently good to great pitcher and and we have to watch him go and continue to be that on another team for the next 4-5 years, that would be a very tough pill to swallow.

The key is the flat ground All-Star Michael Pineda. If he comes back and shows signs of being a good mid-rotation starter, Hughes is gone. Otherwise, the Yankees probably take the risk of tanking 2014 in hopes of future budget flexibility.

Phil has had a WAR over 2.0 exactly once.
Over the last 4 years, he has had an average bWAR of 1.5 and an average fWAR of 1.85.
How does this make him worth $12m - $15m?

Well, you’d be paying him based on what you think he might be worth and not what he’s been worth .  That’s the question the Yankees need to try and answer.  Is he going to build on last year and develop into a 2 - 2.5 win pitcher over the next three or four years?  That’s worth $12-$15M a year.

[9] - It’s not just about what you project him to be worth, but the likelyhood he will be worth that amount.  I think the confidence interval is really wide right now for him and a years worth of evidence will hopefully tighten that up a bit.  Might that mean the Yankees miss out on a steal?  Yes, but is also means they might miss out on another 8 figure arm in the bullpen.

The Yankees can’t afford to Sterling Hitchcock people anymore.

But he’s homegrown, and all prospecty and stuff, and he’s oh, so, dreamy !

Seriously, he needs to go to the Pittsburg Finishing School For Boys.

[9]  “A 2 - 2.5 win pitcher” is worth between $9m amd $13m. However, a RH’ed fly ball pitcher is not great for YS. Like all our kids, I would like to keep him, but $15m is WAY too much. $12m is about my tops. 4/$45m seems about right.

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