It’s not been the best day for Mets fans, what with the Phillies getting Cliff Lee, the Yankees fans making themselves feel better by saying “well, hell, at least we ain’t Mets fans,” and the Kansas City media realizing that, hey, Jeff Francoeur is a winner after all (who knew?!)
But there is some good news today: Jason Bay has resumed strenuous workouts, and tells ESPN New York that he hasn’t had a headache since September. Seems, then, that the effects of the concussion he suffered last July are past him and he’ll be back to normal for spring training. As far as the human spirit goes, that beats the heck out of Ruben Amaro signing a 12-game winner to a nine-figure deal.*
*I’m trying this whole “Cliff Lee is a 12-game winner” defense-mechanism on for size. What do you think? Plausible? It almost makes me feel better, but it could go either way, really.
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.