Free Agent Forecast: Phil Hughes
The former No. 4 overall prospect in baseball has been a disappointment for the Yanks, especially in 2013. He posted an ERA of over 5.00 and had a 4-14 record. What makes Hughes interesting for opposing teams was his 3.88 ERA away from Yankee Stadium last season, which is a result of his tendency to give up home runs to lefties. At 27, he's the youngest starting pitcher that's available. His fastball is what appeals most to teams, and he averages a velocity of upwards of 92 MPH. He also features a good curveball, but has struggled to find more. Although he was incredibly effective for the Yankees out of the bullpen in 2008, it's hard to imagine Hughes signing anywhere as a reliever.
Given his struggles last season, specifically at home, it's unlikely that Hughes wants the Yankees and the Yankees want Hughes. With the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium, they just aren't a good fit. However, the Yankees are in no position to be denying starting pitching, as they have many uncertainties on that front. There will undoubtedly be a team that takes the risk of signing Hughes, mostly likely a National League team out west like the Padres, Dodgers, or Giants. Hughes is from California, and might enjoy heading home to try and revive his career.
I highly doubt that Hughes will end up signing a contract of anything over two years in length. Most likely he will sign a one-year deal, and then wait until next year to try and make the big bucks with a multi-year deal. I would predict something along the lines of a one-year, $9 million contract or, if he decides to plant more of a flag somewhere, a two-year $16 million contract.