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Phil Hughes turns down Twins’ $500,000 offer

Phil-Hughes-TwinsAs we near the end of Major League Baseball’s regular season, incentive bonuses in player contracts are coming into play with only a few games remaining.

In the case of Minnesota Twins pitcher Phil Hughes, his 2014 season comes to an end agonizingly short of an additional $500,000.

Hughes was to receive the half million dollar bonus for reaching 210 innings pitched this season. He started Wednesday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but did not return after an hour-long rain delay, leaving his inning total for the year at 209 2/3, just one out shy of the required amount.

After initially saying Hughes wouldn’t be used in a relief role to reach the threshold, the team apparently changed course.

It’s certainly admirable Phil Hughes is taking the “wasn’t meant to be” approach. On the other hand, you have to think there are more than a few who wouldn’t have turned down the chance to earn an extra $500,000, especially only needing to record one out to do so.

After going 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA in 2013 with the Yankees, the Twins invested $24 million over three years to bring Hughes to Minnesota. That said, I can certainly see his point about owing a lot to the organization.

Rain delay costs Phil Hughes his $500,000 bonus

Phil-Hughes-TwinsPhil Hughes had his best year as a pro this year with the Minnesota Twins. The righthander started 32 games and finished 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA. Had it not been for a rain delay on Wednesday, Hughes would be $500,000 richer.

Hughes had a base salary of $8 million this year plus incentives. One of the incentives was a $500,000 bonus if he pitched 210 innings or more. Hughes was at 96 pitches when he finished the eighth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday to record his 629th out of the season. That means Hughes pitched 209 2/3 innings. He did not return to the mound after an hour-long rain delay.

“I was very aware of it, but some things aren’t meant to be,” Hughes told reporters after the game, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. “I’m very proud of my season regardless of that.”

Manager Ron Gardenhire said he would have sent Hughes back out for the ninth if not for the rain delay, since his pitch count was relatively low. Despite the fact that the Twins are in last place and really have nothing to play for, Gardenhire said he will not pitch Hughes in relief this weekend just so he can reach 210 innings.

The right thing for the Twins to do in this situation would be to give Hughes the bonus anyway. He ended up pitching eight innings of five-hit, one-run ball and probably could have thrown a complete game if not for the rain. Plus, Hughes’ dominant performance allowed him to set the single-season MLB record for best ever strikeout-to-walk ratio (11.63). Hughes walked just 16 batters all season.

Pay the man.

Minnesota Twins reportedly will target Phil Hughes

Phil HughesThe Minnesota Twins will likely look at free agent pitcher Phil Hughes after shoring up their rotation by signing Ricky Nolasco on Wednesday.

ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Twins will “turn their attention” to the former New York Yankees pitcher. Hughes went 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA last season, but he was 16-13 with a 4.23 ERA in 2012 and 18-8 with a 4.19 ERA in 2010.

Hughes would likely benefit from a move away from Yankee Stadium and the AL East to the AL Central and the spacious Target Field. The Miami Marlins, New York Mets and Kansas City Royals are also said to have interest in him.

The Twins have very little pitching depth in their starting rotation and have very few payroll commitments after trading Justin Morneau. They committed $49 million to Nolasco over four years and should have plenty left over for other pitchers like Hughes.

Coming off a 66-96 season, signing Nolasco and Hughes would likely give a boost to the rotation and give the Twins more of a chance to compete.

Phil Hughes mocks Derek Jeter by ordering Starbucks as ‘Sanderson’ (Picture)

Derek-Jeter-Phil-Hughes-YankeesDerek Jeter set the internet on fire earlier this week when photos showed him using the alias “Philip” for his Starbucks order. Going incognito may have worked for Jeter while he ordered his coffee, but it didn’t stop the paparazzi from blowing up his spot.

On Friday, one of his teammates — who happens to actually be named Philip — returned the favor.

Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes decided to hit up Starbucks and have some fun with Jeter in the process. As you may know, Jeter’s middle name is Sanderson. Check out the name Hughes used when ordering his beverage:

Bravo. Hopefully Hughes actually ordered the coffee using the name Sanderson and didn’t simply write it on the cup himself. Does anyone else see the next social media trend unfolding before our eyes? The art of ordering a coffee under a false name should be henceforth known as “Jetering.”

H/T Big League Stew