- Andrew Marchand, ESPN Senior Writer
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Phil Hughes is just 27. In his career, he is 56-45 with a 4.42 ERA.
Not great, but not bad.
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.
New York Yankees
“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?
19hDanny Knobler, Special to ESPN.com
2dESPN Stats & Information