The New York Yankees are off to a much better start than most people in baseball figured they would after dealing with injuries to stars Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira and with all the players that have hit the DL there is a good chance that the team will be making some trades this season and one of the top names could be pitcher Phil Hughes.
The Yankees have been tempted to trade Hughes in the past but decided to hang onto him and although he has been a solid starter for the team and an effective reliever over the years, he likely will be one of the first names mentioned in trades since his contract ends after this year. Under those circumstances Joba Chamberlain could also be in that conversation and let's just say he will be the second one named, but he is less likely to go as the Yankees may want to hold onto the bullpen depth. Hughes has been up and down this season but like he has for most of his career, he has given up too many home runs.
Yankee Stadium is not kind to fly ball pitchers and that is exactly what Hughes is, meaning he could be effective in a more spacious ballpark for teams like the Detroit Tigers, New York Mets or Seattle Mariners. According to Yahoo Sports, those are three possible destinations for Hughes and if the Yankees want to get some veteran pitching help or some relief from all their injuries depending on how long it takes to get Jeter and Rodriguez back (if A-Rod ever comes back...reports say MLB is looking to suspend him and other players for 100 games..whoa).
Another factor in a Hughes deal is the status of pitcher Michael Pineda, as he is looking like he is ready to return after rehabbing all last year from a shoulder injury after coming over in the Jesus Montero trade. If Pineda can come back and be an effective starter, the Yankees will have less of an issue in trading Hughes, as they would have a suitable replacement. Hughes has given up over 50 home runs in 300 innings at home since moving to Yankee Stadium 2009, while he has only given up 28 home runs on the road and his ERA on the road is lower as well.
Apart from Pineda, the Yankees also have Chien-Ming Wang in their minor league system and if they trade Hughes he could come in and be a back of the line starter if needed. Pitching will be a priority for teams at the deadline and if the Yankees think that they will let Hughes go in free agency, a trade could be a good idea to get some young prospects or to add a much-needed position player depending on how injuries play out.