Report: Free agent Phil Hughes seeking more than two years

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1500 ESPN’s Darren Wolfson is reporting via Twitter that a source close to Phil Hughes laughs at the notion that the Yankee would take a two-year deal. The Twins were reportedly interested in Hughes but Wolfson says he doesn’t see Hughes taking the team’s two-year offer if they do offer.

Hughes was once a top prospect in the Yankees’ Minor League system, but his results have been lacking over his seven-year career. He now owns a career 4.54 ERA in 780.2 innings, including the 5.19 ERA over 145.2 innings he posted in 2013.

While the notion of Hughes seeking at least a three-year deal seems absurd at first glance, remember that the market for starters was helped by the four-year deal Jason Vargas (career 4.30 ERA) received from the Royals last week. Hughes is also still 27 years old and still has the potential to turn his career around.

Gerrit Cole second-fastest to 200 strikeouts in a season

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Astros starter Gerrit Cole dominated the Athletics on Monday night, limiting them to one run on two hits and a walk while striking out 11. It marked his 12th start out of 22 this season with double-digit strikeouts, giving him 205 total on the season.

It is no surprise, then, to hear that Cole is the second-fastest in baseball history to reach 200 strikeouts in a season, per MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. Cole got there in 133 1/3 innings. The only pitcher faster than Cole was Randy Johnson, who reached 200 K’s in 130 2/3 innings back in 2001 with the Diamondbacks.

Along with the 205 strikeouts, Cole holds an 11-5 record with a 3.03 ERA across 136 2/3 innings. Among qualified starters in the American League, only Charlie Morton (2.61), Mike Minor (2.86), José Berríos (2.96), and teammate Justin Verlander (2.99) have a better ERA than Cole, who has twice finished in the top-five in Cy Young Award voting.