First Pitch: Would you trade Hughes?

July, 18, 2013
7/18/13
6:00
AM ET
Phil Hughes Jim McIsaac/Getty ImagesIs it high time the Yankees told Phil Hughes to take a walk?
Phil Hughes is just 27. In his career, he is 56-45 with a 4.42 ERA.

Not great, but not bad.

Still, the Yankees have a little less than two weeks to decide if they want to pull the plug on Hughes. Dave Cameron (Insider link) proposed the Yankees deal Hughes to Seattle for Raul Ibanez.

The Yankees have been dangling Hughes around for weeks, looking to exchange some of their pitching depth -- especially a guy who is basically guaranteed to head elsewhere when he becomes a free agent at the end of the year -- for an injection of offense. Ibanez is miraculously having the year of his life at age 41, launching 24 home runs in the first half of the season despite beginning the year as a bench player. The Yankees are clearly familiar with Ibanez, and his swing is still tailor-made for their home ballpark. If he keeps defying age as he has this year, he could provide some much needed power to their lineup.



Yankees GM Brian Cashman has always liked Hughes, protecting him from trades for aces like Johan Santana. Cashman still is a fan, but he sees the flaws in Hughes' fly-ball style at Yankee Stadium.

“The home runs are obviously an issue for him,” Cashman said. “He is a guy that pounds the strike zone. He acquires strikeouts. He is a seven-to-eight strikeout, two-walk-per-nine type guy, which is a tremendous thing to be. He is also a fly-ball pitcher. It is a tough recipe; especially with the offense we are throwing out there. Our ballpark is not set up for fly-ball guys."

If the Yankees don't trade Hughes, they may offer him a one-year deal for a little less than $14 million. If he accepted it, he would have one more year to blossom as a Yankee. If he declined, they would receive draft pick compensation.

UP NOW: Alex Rodriguez may be back on Monday. Plus, a positive look at the second half and a negative one.

ON DECK: I'll look deeper into the trade market and the farm system. Plus, we might find out if Derek Jeter will go on the DL or not.

QUESTION OF THE DAY: Would you trade Hughes?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.276 10 54 57
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 20
RBIJ. Ellsbury 54
RB. Gardner 76
OPSB. Gardner .791
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135