Anibal Sanchez throws simulated game, hopes to return Sunday

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Anibal Sanchez has been sidelined since April 26 due to a blister on his right middle finger, but he’s getting closer to rejoining the Tigers’ starting rotation.

Jason Beck of MLB.com notes that Sanchez threw 60 pitches over four simulated innings earlier today. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus gave his throwing session a “thumbs-up” and said that his stuff looked good, but they’ll see how he feels tomorrow before announcing the next step. The hope right now is that he’ll be able to return to pitch Sunday night against the Red Sox.

Coming off an AL-best 2.57 ERA last season, Sanchez posted a 3.13 ERA and 24/11 K/BB ratio in 23 innings over his first five starts this year prior to landing on the disabled list.

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.