More Yankees: How to Improve a Strength
The deadline market is seemingly ripe for selling off starting pitching, but the Yankees have yet to be offered the "right kind of return" for Hughes, according to Heyman's sources. The Yanks are in pursuit of a hitter or two to help their severely depleted offense, but the interest in acquiring Hughes to help make that happen just doesn't appear to be there at the moment.
New York started aggressively shopping the right-hander earlier this month -- along with Joba Chamberlain -- but they may have overplayed their initial hand. It was rumored last week that the Yankees' asking price for Hughes was/is "incredibly high," so the current lack of interest could be an attempt to get the Bombers to lower their expectations.
Heyman speculates that the quiet Hughes market has less to do with his price and more to do with teams finding solutions elsewhere or falling out of contention. He posits that the pitcher-friendly parks of the NL West -- Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego -- would have been perfect fits for Hughes, but the Dodgers are no longer looking for starters and the Giants and Padres are likely out of the postseason picture this year. However, there are definitely several teams still in the market for a starter, -- see: Matt Garza rumors -- so Heyman's hypothesis likely doesn't carry much water outside of Pacific Standard Time.
Hughes, 27, is off to a middling start with the Yankees this season, which has been the norm since he returned to the rotation in 2010. The pending free agent owns a 4.57 earned-run average and better than three strikeouts per walk over 102⅓ innings in 18 starts thus far. While he isn't likely to be the savior for a contending club, he could be a solid addition to the back end of a rotation for the second half.