Sports Outside the Beltway

Dear Brian Cashman

I’ll try to be brief.
Please don’t succumb to the media pressure to trade Phil Hughes to land Johan Santana. Contrary to the opinions you might be reading in the newspapers, the Yanks do NOT NEED Santana. It would be nice, but not worth giving up a potential #1 ace-type guy for.

I’m sure you know all the reasons: Santana’s decline over the last few years (and during 2007′s latter half), Hughes’ resurgence in September and October when he became the Yanks best pitcher, not to mention all the cost controlled years of Hughes that would be thrown away vs. having to sign Santana to a long, lucrative extension. Also, Dave Eiland was just promoted to pitching coach – if not to help out the youngsters, why even do it?

Myself and a large majority of Yankee fans I’m in touch with feel the same way. Kennedy, Melky, Ajax, sure. Replace Kennedy with Hughes? No way. Kennedy should be a solid #3/4 pitcher in the Bigs but doesn’t project much higher. Hughes projects to be that frontline, ace starter that every team covets. Again, he’s on his way up (he was a league average pitcher as a 21-year-old – the youngest in all MLB in ’07) while Santana is on his way down.

If Boston gets Santana, so be it. They’ll probably have to give up a boatload of talent to do it, and while their 2008 rotation would be very strong, I prefer to hold onto the guy who will be strong for the next 10-15 years instead of the next 5 (while costing $100 million less). Why is Clay Buchholz deemed ‘untouchable’ yet Hughes, who projects better (better fb, better size, younger, better minor league stats) is not?

One last thing, on a personal note, it’s far more fun for us fans to root for homegrown Yankees than for the latest ‘veteran star’ that was acquired via trade or free agency. Anyway, I hope you feel the same way and won’t pull the trigger on the proposed deal with Hughes in it.

Thank you for your time,
Travis G.

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