San Diego

Padres Acquire Hughes in Trade With Twins

Friars send a minor league catcher to Minnesota for a veteran pitcher

The Padres added depth to their pitching staff and, perhaps more importantly, grabbed another draft pick in a Sunday trade with the Twins.

San Diego acquired veteran right-hander Phil Hughes, the 74th overall pick in next month's MLB Draft, and cash from Minnesota in exchange for 21-year-old catcher Janigson Villalobos, who has never played above the Arizona Rookie League.

Hughes, who was an All-Star in 2010 with the Yankees and finished in the top-10 in Cy Young Award voting in 2014, suffered injuries that shortened his 2016 and 2017 seasons. He made just two starts this year before the Twins moved him to the bullpen and eventually designated him for assignment.

Minnesota will pay the majority of Hughes' contract this season and take on a large chunk of the $13.2 million he's due in 2019, the final year of his current deal. Padres General Manager A.J. Preller said the team spoke with Hughes and believe for the time-being he feels comfortable in a relief role but has not ruled out stretching him back out as a starter.

Hughes, now in his 12th year in the big leagues, was a first-round pick of the Yankees in 2004.

Adding the draft pick in this trade is an interesting twist. Up until recently, Major League Baseball did not allow any draft picks to be traded. The Padres lost a second-round selection when they signed Eric Hosmer in free agency so this, once again, gives them four selections in the top 84. The 2018 MLB Draft starts Monday, June 4.

One possibility for the Twins to take Hughes' spot is left-handed starter Stephen Gonzalves. The 23-year-old from Cathedral Catholic High School is one of baseball's Top-100 prospects and has been dominant at Double-A and Triple-A this season.

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