Royals rumors: Team targeting Phil Hughes?
Despite having a terrible 2013 campaign on the mound (4-14, 5.19 ERA), Phil Hughes could still be looked at as the bargain of the off-season. The winner of Phil Hughes would likely be buying low on a pitcher who is only 27 and has seasons of 18 and 16 wins. In addition, the New York Yankees did not place a qualifying offer for Hughes meaning that whichever team Hughes signs with will not have to forfeit a draft pick for him. Experts predict that Hughes will land with a west coast team, be it that is where he is from. However, the Kansas City Royals are now in the running for him according to WFAN and CBS baseball insider Jon Heyman. Phil Hughes has a connection to the Royals. Their pitching coach, Dave Eiland, was the pitching coach for the Yankees when Phil Hughes was an all-star in 2010. Kansas City is hoping that the combination of Dave Eiland and playing in the pitcher’s friendly ballpark of Kauffman Stadium will be enough to bring in Hughes. This would be very convenient for Hughes- who could not keep the ball within the walls of Yankee Stadium for the past two seasons.
With Ervin Santana likely signing with a different team, Phil Hughes could possibly be put into the #2 pitcher’s role behind James Shields.
Hughes has the potential to have the kind of season Ervin Santana experienced in 2013, and if signed for the right price, could end up being a long-term bargain for whichever team he chooses to sign with.
Kansas City has also expressed interest in FA RHP Tim Hudson, however, many more teams are interested in him and it is more likely Phil Hughes will be the Royals main target this off-season.
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