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Phil Hughes signs three-year deal with Minnesota Twins

Al Bello

Well, here it is. Phil Hughes has signed a three-year $24 million contract with the Minnesota Twins and we say goodbye to a once-heralded Yankee prospect. Of course, the Yankees were never going to re-sign Hughes as a free agent, not after the season he just put up. They couldn't even chance extending a $14.1 million qualifying offer because they were afraid he would accept. Now he will be making around $8 million a year in the spacious Target Field.

It was believed he would ultimately land with an NL West team in one of their big ballparks, but not many showed interest in Hughes as a multi-year investment. The Mets were briefly interested before word got out that he was looking for a longer commitment. Now the Twins have to hope that he can adapt to a new division and a new stadium.

Home runs will always be a part of Hughes' game, so for his sake, hopefully his new home ballpark can help control his problem and make him a more effective pitcher than he could be in the AL East and in New York. Now he will be able to face the White Sox, Royals and Indians more often than the Red Sox, Rays, and Orioles.

Next season, the Yankees play the Twins at home for the first time on May 30 through June 1. Let's hope the Yankees can get some revenge on him and hit a few dingers just for good measure. Will the fans boo? Will they react at all?

Good luck, Hughsie (and good luck Twins), just not against us.

What could have been.