The Twins designated former Yankee Phil Hughes for assignment following Monday night’s game, putting his career in limbo.
Hughes, part of the vibrant trio of pitching prospects to make their Yankees debuts in 2007 that also included Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy, had the longest career in New York of those three. He was an integral bullpen cog in the Yankees’ 2009 championship team, then earned an All-Star nod the next season as a starter, winning 18 games. Hughes signed with Minnesota after hitting free agency prior to the 2013 season.
After a strong start in Minneapolis, Hughes struggled with injury, including thoracic outlet syndrome, for which he has had two surgeries since 2016. A notable decline in velocity followed, and the Twins struggled to find a place for him this season. Hughes pitched just 12 innings this season.
“Baseball can be a harsh and humbling game,” the 31-year-old tweeted Tuesday morning. “Respect to the Twins organization and fans for always treating me incredibly well. Will miss you guys.”
In April, after he had lost his rotation spot and was grasping for velocity, the $13 million he is making this year weighed on him.
“Mentally, it’s just as taxing as physically,” Hughes said. “I’m getting paid a lot of money right now and not living up to it. That wears on me more than anything. But I’m closer than I was last year.”
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