Injury puts Kevin Slowey’s demotion to Triple-A on hold

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Kevin Slowey seems unlikely to pitch for the Twins again, as basically the entire organization has been criticizing him publicly all week and both sides seem to agree that a trade is best for everyone involved.

Minnesota had planned to send him to Triple-A, where Slowey could resume starting while showcasing himself for a trade, but now those plans are on hold because he’s been diagnosed with an acute rectus abdominus strain and is expected to be sidelined for 7-10 days.

Instead of a demotion to Triple-A he’ll likely be stashed on the disabled list and then asked to embark on a lengthy minor-league rehab assignment, so the end result is more or less the same thing assuming the injury proves minor. Either way, I fully expect the Twins to trade Slowey as soon as possible and based on his track record as a solid starter there should be at least a few teams interested.

Padres acquire Phil Hughes from Twins

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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.