Phil Hughes cleared to begin rehab assignment Tuesday

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Matt Fortuna of MLB.com passes along notice that Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment and will make his first appearance Tuesday with the Yankees’ affiliate in the Gulf Coast League.

Hughes threw 30 pitches Thursday in a simulated game down in Tampa, Florida and was able to touch 92 MPH with his fastball. He reported no problems with his once-fatigued right arm after the workout.

Hughes has been sidelined since the third week of the regular season with a “dead arm” and was moved to the 60-day disabled list in late May. He had allowed 19 hits and 16 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings.

If all goes well, the 24-year-old should be cleared to rejoin the Yankees’ starting rotation in early July.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.