Yankee greed costs Carter his best shot

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For no other reason than to tweak their two biggest rivals, the Yankees stepped in Thursday and claimed Boston’s Chris Carter off waivers, preventing him from immediately becoming a Met as a player to be named in the Billy Wagner deal.
In so doing, they kept the Mets from adding a legitimate bat to their depleted lineup for the final five weeks. They’re also forcing the Red Sox to keep Carter on the 40-man roster for now, which will be a minor annoyance as they try to set up their September roster.
So, it’s mission accomplished for Brian Cashman and company. And caught in the crossfire is Carter, a soon-to-be 27-year-old first baseman-outfielder who probably won’t ever have another chance to establish himself like he would have received as a Met next month. The Stanford prospect is a career .304/.378/.507 hitter in 2,745 minor league at-bats, but he’s not a true slugger and he’s quite limited defensively. The Mets will have him next year, but there will likely be plenty of alternatives at first base and in left field by then. This was Carter’s chance, and it’s not going to happen for him simply because the Yankees saw some miniscule advantage for themselves.

Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

AP Photo/Ron Schwane
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Phil Hughes was officially designated for assignment by the Twins on Tuesday, the culmination of multiple injury-plagued seasons and poor performance.

Things couldn’t have started out much better for Hughes in Minnesota. The former Yankees hurler joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million contract in December of 2013 and reeled off a 3.52 ERA over 32 starts during his first season with the club. He set the MLB record (which still stands, by the way) for single season strikeout-to-walk ratio and even received some downballot Cy Young Award consideration. The big year resulted in the two sides ripping up their previous agreement with a new five-year, $58 million deal, but it was all downhill after that.

Hughes took a step back with a 4.40 ERA in 2015 and struggled with a 5.95 ERA over 11 starts and one relief appearance in 2016 before undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. He wasn’t any better upon his return last year, putting up a 5.87 ERA in nine starts and five relief appearances. Hughes missed time with a biceps issue and required a thoracic outlet revision surgery in August. He began this year on the disabled list with an oblique injury, only to put up a 6.75 ERA over two starts and five relief appearances before the Twins decided to turn the page this week.

Hughes is still owed the remainder of his $13.2 million salary for this year and another $13.2 million next year. The deal didn’t work out as anyone would have hoped, but unfortunately this is another case of health just not cooperating.