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Twins designate Phil Hughes for assignment

Minnesota looks as if they are going to eat veteran starter’s $22 million-plus that is left on deal.

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Minnesota Twins Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins have designated veteran starter Phil Hughes for assignment, according to Mike Berardino of The St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Berardino reports that Twins manager Paul Molitor said Hughes was “not asked” by Minnesota to go down to the minors. Rather than keeping him in the organization, the Twins now have seven days to either trade, release or waive Hughes, who is still owed more than $22 million from now through 2019 after having signed a five-year, $58 million contract extension in 2015. If a team claims him off waivers, the Twins will not have to pay him all of that money.

However, that seems unlikely because Hughes is 31 years old and has been terrible on the mound since 2016, posting a 5.99 ERA in 33 appearances (22 starts) across 124 23 innings pitched. He is also coming off thoracic outlet surgery for the second time in his career.

In 12 seasons in the majors with the Yankees and Twins, Hughes has posted an 88-79 record with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 274 appearances. His best seasons were in 2010 and 2014. In 2010, he was an All-Star with the Yankees and went 18-8 with a 4.19 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 176 13 innings. In 2014 in his first year in Minnesota, Hughes posted a career-best 4.5 WAR and finished seventh in the AL Cy Young voting after he led the majors in walks per nine innings (0.7) and strikeouts per walk (11.63) while going 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA.