The San Diego Padres acquired right-hander Phil Hughes, cash and the 74th overall pick in the 2018 Draft from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for catcher Janigson Villalobos on Sunday.
The Twins designated Hughes for assignment on May 22 and had seven days to trade or release him. Hughes, who is owed roughly $22.5 million on the remainder of his contract that expires after next season, had a 6.75 ERA in seven games (two starts) after beginning the year on the 10-day disabled list with an oblique strain.
Villalobos, 21, will report to the Gulf Coast League Twins in the Rookie League. He has yet to appear in a game this season after hitting .275 in 27 games with the Arizona Rookie League Padres in 2017.
Twins manager Paul Molitor announced the decision to designate the 31-year-old Hughes after the team’s 4-2 win over the Detroit Tigers on Monday, noting that Hughes was not asked to accept assignment to the minor leagues.
“It was time as far as we were concerned,” Molitor said. “That’s not my part of the game, but it’s a guaranteed contract through the end of next year.”
Hughes first joined the Twins on a three-year, $24 million deal ahead of the 2014 season. He went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA in 32 starts that year, earning himself a $42 million extension through 2019.
Hughes has dealt with multiple injuries since then, including twice undergoing surgery to address symptoms from thoracic outlet syndrome and a knee surgery. He is 88-79 with a 4.49 ERA in his 12-year major-league career.
“I’ve been around Phil for a long time,” Molitor said. “He’s worked really hard. He’s been through a lot physically. He’s had to endure a lot of rehabs. We probably saw him at his best his first year over here. It’s been a tough road for him since then. I thanked him for the effort that he’s given me and the times he’s taken the ball, and I hope something happens in a positive fashion for him moving forward.”
–Field Level Media