It seems that Sandy Alderson was asked by reporters yesterday if signing catcher Ronny Paulino was an “ethical and public relations” problem in light of Paulino’s suspension for taking a banned stimulant last year. Not surprisingly, Alderson said no, it was not.
People can ask what they want to ask of course, but I don’t recall this being an issue with other players who have been linked to PEDs. It is in keeping, however, with the curious scrutiny that some have given Alderson when it comes to PEDs and which is not given to other GMs who ran teams during the height of the steroid era. As if Alderson cooked up ‘roids in an old Winnebago in the desert with Jose Canseco or something. Which would be totally cool, of course, but it didn’t happen that way.
My view: there are rules in place governing PEDs now. The suspensions are part of those rules, as is the reinstatement of suspended players. Paulino did his time. There are no “ethical considerations” involved unless one does not respect the current rules in place. And if that’s the case, the questions are not for Sandy Alderson. They’re for Bud Selig.
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.