Phil Hughes was two years away from free agency, but both he and the Twins realized that they wanted to work something out for the long-term. Earlier today, the Twins announced a three-year extension that will pay him an additional $42MM, giving the right-hander a pact that will take him through the 2019 season. The deal gives Hughes job security, a healthy payday in the here and now, and also allows him the opportunity to cash in again at the age of 32. As our own Steve Adams pointed out this afternoon, Hughes is on track to hit the open market again at roughly the same age as James Shields is this winter. On a conference call earlier today, I asked Hughes about the importance of getting a deal that could allow him to land another hefty multi-year contract down the line. “That’s the benefit of coming into the league at the age of 20, I put some service time behind me so even after this contract, I’ll be 32, 33, but that’s something for another day,” Hughes said. “I haven’t even begun to think about my next deal, this is five years away and I have a lot of things I want to accomplish. After that, we’ll see where we’re at.” Hughes knows that he could have boosted his value even further by continuing on his previous deal, but he would have had “a little bit more of a struggle” in talking agent Nez Balelo into greenlighting an extension one year away from free agency.
The second half of the 2014/2015 Australian Baseball League season saw the first-place Adelaide Bite extend their lead in the standings by sweeping the Sydney Blue Sox. Canberra caught Brisbane in the standings by taking three of four from the Bandits and the Perth Heat finished a busy week in Melbourne by taking three of five from the Aces.
Right-hander Phil Hughes threw a first-pitch strike 72.5 percent of the time in 2014, tops in baseball. Strikeouts and walks don’t tell the whole story of his professional rebirth in the Twin Cities, but they say plenty.
San Diego and Josh Johnson agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract Monday, according to Yahoo, and bonuses can take the deal to $7.25 million. The club has not confirmed the report.
Here are today’s minor moves and outright assignments from around the league… Mariners right-hander Logan Bawcom, who was designated for assignment last week, has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma, tweets Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. The 26-year-old posted a 4.93 ERA with 6.3 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in 45 2/3 innings at Triple-A in 2014. The Giants announced that they have outrighted first baseman Angel Villalona off the 40-man roster to clear a 40-man spot for Sergio Romo, whose two-year deal was made official earlier today. Villalona, 24, once ranked as a Top 100 prospect but struggled at Double-A this season, hitting just .227/.290/.381 with 10 homers. Villalona is a lifetime .254/.311/.422 hitter in the minor leagues and has had his share of off-field issues in addition to recent on-field struggles. As Kevin Fagan wrote for the San Francisco Chronicle in 2009, Villalona was connected to a murder investigation in his native Dominican Republic, although he was never convicted. Right-hander Donn Roach and infielder Logan Watkins have cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A by the Cubs, tweets Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. The pair was designated for assignment last week when the Cubs claimed Ryan Lavarnway and Shane Peterson off waivers. Roach, 24, pitched 30 1/3 innings of 4.75 ERA ball for the Padres in 2014, and the 25-year-old Watkins hit .246/.269/.338 in 68 plate appearances with the Cubs.
The Nationals added bullpen depth Monday by signing reliever Heath Bell to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
The Giants have re-signed right-handed relief pitcher Sergio Romo to a two-year contract, club Senior Vice President and General Manager Brian Sabean announced Monday. Per club policy, financial terms were not disclosed.
The Twins have reached an agreement for a contract extension with right-hander Phil Hughes through the 2019 season, a Major League source confirmed to MLB.com on Monday. The club has not confirmed the deal.
Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki tells The Denver Post’s Patrick Saunders he hears the trade rumors, but that isn’t his focus this winter. “I have been talking to the Rockies throughout the process,” Tulowitzki said. “We have respect for each other. But my concentration right now is just on getting healthy.” Tulowitzki, recovering from August hip surgery, has yet to start baseball activites but has begun light running and is continuing a program to increase flexibility in his hips. Here’s the latest from MLB’s West divisions: It cannot be a good sign the Giants‘ training staff is preparing an update this week on Marco Scutaro, opines John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Because of a back injury, Scutaro, who is due $6MM in the final year of his contract, appeared in only five games last year with 13 trips to the plate.