Since the New York Mets need pitching, it was discouraging to read reports they are not players for Phil Hughes.
Of all the players in the free-agent market I thought the Mets had a chance to sign, the 27-year-old Hughes was it, and with him, had the biggest chance to produce at minimum cost. Yes, he was 4-14 last season, but he is two years removed from winning 16 games.
Hughes wants two years, but the Mets will only guarantee one year. I’d give him two years in a second, maybe even two plus an option.
Hughes, who made $7.15 million last year, would have been worth the gamble.
Everybody has a bad year, and Hughes is no exception. When things are off, as they were last year – either mechanically or mentally – balls tend to fly when you get your pitches up in a bandbox.
Citi Field, with its spacious dimensions, would have been perfect for him. The same reason the Mets are willing to trade Ike Davis is the same reason they should take a run at Hughes – for the change of scenery.
Hell, last season when Mark Teixeira went down, I wrote the Mets should trade Davis for Hughes. It made sense then and it makes sense now.
What doesn’t make sense is not giving Hughes at least two years at the same time you give $7 million to Chris Young. What is going on here?
Frank Francisco got two years, but not Hughes?
When Citi Field was built, it was done with the idea of building around pitching and defense. The Mets currently say they want to build around their young pitching, but pass on a young arm that had success in New York and pitched in a World Series?
What is Sandy Alderson thinking about?
Hughes has never had an arm injury, which makes him even more attractive. With Matt Harvey not available until 2015 – and even then we don’t know what he’ll be – and the jury not out yet on Zack Wheeler and Rafael Montero, the gamble on Hughes turning it around would have been a good one.
The chance to sign a young pitcher, who is healthy, relatively inexpensive and who has tasted success in New York doesn’t come around every day and the Mets blew it.
What Alderson seems to be looking for is Justin Verlander to decide he wants to pitch pro-bono in New York.
The decision to sign Young was ridiculous and not well thought out, but the bottom line his Alderson thought he was worth the risk.
Hughes would have been a much better choice. The clock is ticking for Alderson and Young and Hughes have been bad decisions.