(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)
Assuming, of course, that what Joel Sherman reported in The Post
yesterday Monday has some truth to it. That's a disclaimer that always has to come with any Sherman report, but if the team's strategy he laid out is actually what they're following then it might just be the smartest thing they've ever done with Hughes.
Basically it comes down to the Yankees not being willing to move Phil Hughes at the deadline just for the sake of moving him, which is the right approach to take. According to Sherman, they're looking for more than just a stopgap or some mid-level prospects in return for him. They want a position player with some years of control left - something the future lineup could really use - and if they don't get that they plan on keeping Hughes and making him a qualifying offer this offseason. If a team is willing to sign him and forfeit the pick, the Yanks get another compensatory 1st round draft pick next year. If no one is, the Yanks get Hughes back for another year in his prime and get another chance to move him at next year's deadline.
At worst, they come out with an extra 1st round pick in the 2014 draft if they follow this plan. That's pretty good value for a guy who they weren't going to re-sign anyway. At best, the Yanks get a useful piece that can help re-tool the lineup and achieve next year's payroll budget goal. Anything less than that and the Yankees are better off keeping Hughes for the rest of this season, be it as a back end rotation guy or in the 'pen. Kudos to Cash and the front office for being smart enough to realize that. Now let's see if they follow through on the plan.