Phil Hughes is expected to take his talents elsewhere when he becomes a free agent this winter, assuming he doesn’t accept a one-year qualifying offer from the New York Yankees. While there may few quite a few teams going after Hughes, there’s one team in my mind that he’ll fit with the best – the San Diego Padres.
Hughes is a fly ball pitcher and unfortunately, it’s showing at Yankee Stadium as he gives up home runs at his own ballpark more than most pitchers allow in their home stadium. Petco Park, on the other hand, is notoriously known as a pitchers park, which works in Hughes’ favor. His home run numbers would drop if he were to be pitching in a spacious ballpark rather than the small Yankee Stadium.
The biggest part of this is that the Padres should be aggressive in going after starters this offseason. When they acquired Ian Kennedy at the trading deadline, it wasn’t because they wanted to bolster their starting rotation for a playoff run — they wanted to build their rotation for the future.
Hughes would be a great fit with the Padres if they wanted to add another starter for the future. He has the talent and ability, and giving up fly balls wouldn’t as much an issue in San Diego as it is in New York.
Hughes’ days as a Yankee are coming to a close and I’m confident that he won’t be returning to the Bronx next season. Nobody knows where he’ll end up but he would be perfect for the Padres.
Gavin Ewbank is a Yankees writer for RantSports.com. Follow @Gavinewbank2013 on Twitter for more Yankees talk.