Phil Hughes gets $3.2 million from Yankees, avoids arbitration

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Phil Hughes and the Yankees have agreed to a one-year deal worth $3.2 million, avoiding arbitration.

Hughes had a disappointing 2011, as injuries limited him to just 75 innings and he posted a 5.79 ERA, but he made $2.7 million and would have been in line for a decent-sized raise if the two sides went to a hearing.

His role for this season isn’t entirely clear after the Yankees traded for Michael Pineda and signed Hiroki Kuroda, because one of Hughes, Freddy Garcia, or A.J. Burnett will seemingly have to be the odd man out in the rotation.

Hughes has bullpen experience, spending most of 2009 as a reliever with lots of success, and taking him out of the rotation–at least initially–could also be a way to avoid doubling his workload following back problems and arm fatigue.

Marcus Stroman dealing with blister again

Marcus Stroman
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Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman might be headed to the disabled list soon, manager John Gibbons told reporters following Friday’s rain-shortened loss to the Yankees. The righty lasted just four innings on the mound before calling it a night, and gave up five runs, six hits and two walks in a performance that Gibbons claimed was at least partially affected by recurring blister issues on his right middle finger. Now, it looks like he might be removed from the rotation for some much-needed rest and rehabilitation; if so, it’ll be his second such stint this year.

Stroman, 27, has struggled to return the kind of winning record and sub-4.00 ERA that characterized his previous seasons with the club, mostly due to the combined seven weeks he missed with blisters on his throwing hand and chronic fatigue in his right shoulder. In a recent start against the Rays, things got even more gruesome when his blister appeared to start bleeding in the middle of his outing and MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm notes that the wound has constantly interfered with the right-hander’s pitch selection and delivery. When healthy, Stroman has managed a 4-8 record through 18 starts in 2018 with a career-worst 5.27 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 6.8 SO/9 in 100 2/3 innings. This will be the first year since 2015 in which he has not logged at least 200 innings in a single season.

While Stroman may not need an extended stay on the DL before he returns to the mound, it’s not clear what kind of timetable the Blue Jays expect for his recovery. He’s been the second-most valuable starter (behind the now-traded J.A. Happ) in a rotation that currently ranks 17th in the majors with a combined 4.90 ERA and 6.8 fWAR.