The Twins, fresh off their signing of Ricky Nolasco, may now be targeting free-agent right-hander Phil Hughes, a source tells Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman earlier reported that Hughes was of interest to Minnesota.
Hughes, a 27-year-old Yankees lifer, is coming off a 2013 season in which he posted a 5.19 ERA (78 ERA+) and 1.46 WHIP in 145 2/3 innings of work. For his career, he's pitched to a 4.54 ERA (95 ERA+) and 2.68 K/BB across 182 games, 132 of which have been starts.
The appeal of Hughes, in addition to his relative youth, is that he has good stuff and seems ripe to improve outside hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium. For instance, consider that over his career opponents have batted .269/.321/.481 against Hughes in new Yankee Stadium. On the road, however, they've hit just .245/.306/.384. Along those same lines, of the 112 homers Hughes has allowed in his career, 76 have come at home.
Considering that Target Field has played as a roughly neutral environment in recent seasons, it would almost certainly provide Hughes with a more accommodating environment. From the Twins' standpoint, they still need help in the rotation if they're going to be relevant in 2014.