Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Yankees Avoid Arbitration with Hughes, Robertson, and Chamberlain
Yesterday, the Yankees announced that they came to an agreement with RHP Phil Hughes on a one-year, non-guaranteed contract worth $3.2 million plus incentives. That's a $500,000 raise for a guy who essentially had a lost season, winning a lowly 5 games for the Yankees with an inflated ERA of almost 6. There is nowhere to go for Hughes but up. He had a dreadful 2011 season and did not come close to his 2010 first half statistics. He came into spring training overweight and not as ready as he did the previous year, knowing that he was a lock in then- the Yankees thin rotation. Being that the Yankees have surplus starting pitching, it would help the Yankees in a possible trade involving Hughes if he began the season as the number 5 starter. It is unlikely to happen however, because of the size of Burnett's contract and having Freddy Garcia as a proven starter. Nonetheless, Hughes has potential to be a front-line starter, but his likely home to start the season will probably be in the bullpen until Chamberlain fully recovers from Tommy John surgery. He is a proven winner in the bullpen and the move would only make sense.
The Yankees also announced that they have come to agreements on one-year contracts with setup man David Robertson and reliever Joba Chamberlain. The two were no-brainers to obtain contracts from the Yankees. Without Robertson setting up for Mariano, there may not have been a postseason for the Yankees. Let's not forget how he Houdini'd himself out of based-loaded jams throughout the season. Personally, I think the Yankees should lock him up to a long-term deal before he gets too expensive. Chamberlain is a wildcard because he, like Hughes, had a lost season. Before his elbow injury, he was having a great season, with an ERA under 3. While at one point Chamberlain was thought to be the heir apparent to Mariano Rivera, his place within the organization remains a mystery with the Yankees already having two eighth inning relievers and a closer who isn't bad himself.
Update- 3:39 PM- According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Robertson will make $1.6 million with 25K in incentives and Chamberlain will make $1.675 million.