Phil Hughes is a free agent. It is expected that he will sign elsewhere; to a National League team with a big ballpark where he can hide his home run-happy tendencies. For these reasons many believed that the Padres were going to take a strong interest in him and sign him. Unfortunately for Hughes, that doesn't seem to be the case.
According to a source, the Padres aren't overly impressed with the right-hander, especially not after his terrible 2013 performance. They question his work ethic, and if he was unable to fully commit in New York, what would be his reason to improve in San Diego. They are content with their starting pitching options at the moment, but could reconsider at some point.
The question about his work ethic could be in reference to his 2011, which was mainly lost to arm issues stemming from poor conditioning. Despite that, Hughes does spend a lot of time tinkering with his pitches in order to hopefully find some combination of pitches that finally work for him. He's had a curveball, a cutter, a slider, and others, all of which he's developed and then retooled and then ditched at some point or another.
Whether there is something to this criticism or not, the market will probably not be very strong for him. The Yankees will be unable to make a qualifying offer for fear that he would accept and be massively overpaid. If he goes in free agency, the Yankees would then get nothing in return. The fear then becomes whether or not the Yankees will end up re-signing him on the cheap. Everyone knows that won't work, what he needs is for someone to show interest.
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