There has been speculation that the San Diego Padres are interested in free agent Phil Hughes. However, if the organization has an interest in improving the team next season they would be wise to stay away from signing the New York Yankees starting pitcher.
The long-time Yankee posted arguably the worst season of his career in 2013. His 4-14 record, 5.19 earned run average and 121 strikeouts in 30 appearances (29 starts) is not what New York had in mind when they agreed to keep him on the active roster.
There is no question Hughes could have struggled with the pressure of playing for the Yankees. It is quite possible that a change of scenery would actually allow him to pitch better. For that reason, the Padres would be smart to acquire the 27-year-old.
With that being said, the facts point to the contrary. The right-hander put up some horrific numbers in a contract year. Not to mention, if he is not able to muster a solid effort to play for a contender, such as New York, what could possibly motivate him to raise his level of play in San Diego?
The Padres have a decent starting rotation in place for next season that includes Andrew Cashner, Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy and Eric Stults. I understand they will need one more pitcher to fill the group but there is no way Hughes is the guy for the job.
With the offseason just beginning, there is a chance San Diego will change their mind on Hughes. As of right now, I have to imagine the organization will decide to pass when the subject comes up.