“I think he’d rather be playing in Beirut than Queens.”
– Peter Gammons describes his impression of Jason Bay’s interest, or lack thereof, in signing with the Mets, during an appearance on WEEI in Boston.
Ouch. Reading various Mets’ blogs over the course of the past few days tells me
that at this point the team’s fans are just as disinterested in having Bay as
he is in playing in Citi Field. Call me cynical, but I feel the team’s
interest in Bay had more to do with a hesitancy to get involved in
protracted negotiations with Matt Holliday — the far superior
all-around player — than anything else.
Granted, Bay would provide the Mets with a short-term boost
offensively, but given his age and particular skillset, he’s simply not
worth adding an extra year. A five or six-year contractual commitment
to an all-hit, no field-player in a pitcher’s park would ignore the
real deficiencies of the team. It didn’t make sense upon the team’s
initial interest and it makes even less sense now.
Twins right-hander Phil Hughes is headed to the Padres, according to announcements from both teams on Sunday. The Padres will also receive the 74th overall draft pick and cash considerations from the Twins, who are getting minor league catcher Janigson Villalobos in return. Minnesota is expected to absorb $7.5 million of Hughes’ $22 million contract; per MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, they’ll take on his remaining salary for the 2018 season and pay an additional $5.7 million in 2019.
Hughes, 31, is far from the 16-win, sub-4.00 ERA hurler the Twins enjoyed in 2014. He hasn’t pitched more than 60 innings in any season since 2015, due in part to multiple bouts of back stiffness and shoulder surgeries. He was designated for assignment last week after missing significant time with a left oblique strain and delivering a 6.75 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 6.0 SO/9 through his first 12 innings of 2018.
Villalobos, meanwhile, will provide the Twins with some depth as he continues to work his way through the minor league system. The 21-year-old backstop recently completed a circuit with the Padres’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League, slashing .275/.367/.388 with eight extra bases and a .755 OPS in 98 PA.
The real get for the Padres isn’t Hughes (even with much of his salary already accounted for), but the Competitive Balance B selection in next week’s amateur draft. As MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell points out, the club lost their second-round pick after inking Eric Hosmer to a massive eight-year, $144 million deal back in February.