Monday, January 30, 2012

Yankees should not give up Phil Hughes

Why are people so intent on trading Phil Hughes all of a sudden?

Ever since the New York Yankees traded Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda, speculation has run rampant that the Yankees will send Hughes away in exchange for a serviceable designated hitter. Putting aside the fact that the Yankees don’t really need a DH with all of their aging stars, I would hope Brian Cashman is not ready to trade away the talented youngster, even after his disappointing, injury-plagued 2011 campaign.

In a perfect world, the Yankees would find a way to trade AJ Burnett, but that’s not going to happen. However, I think trading Hughes would be a big mistake. He has shown us what he is capable of doing when he is healthy, with an All-Star campaign in 2010. I also think most of his problems last year were caused by his health issues. If he comes into camp in good shape, which he has fully committed to, I expect to see the 2010 version of Hughes and you do not trade a guy like that.

Plus, there is the old adage: you can never have too much pitching. I think that applies to the Yankees current scenario, as it has in the past. Not that I would ever root for a pitcher to go down with an injury, but the Yankees have to be prepared for the possibility that someone could get hurt. Rather than being forced to pay exorbitant prices on the trade market mid-season if that happens, the Yankees could tap into their starting pitching surplus. Hughes, if he does not win a starting job in spring training, could come in from the bullpen to fill any injury voids.

But the main reason I do not want the Yankees to trade him is because we have all seen his promise. I haven't given up on Phil Hughes. I hope the Yankees don't either. 

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