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Baseball Phil Hughes, Twins agree to five-year, $58-million contract

FILE - This Sept. 24, 2014 file photo shows Minnesota Twins pitcher Phil Hughes throwing against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of a baseball game in Minneapolis.

Jim Mone/AP

Phil Hughes finished his first season in Minnesota one out shy of a $500,000 bonus. His new deal with the Twins more than takes care of that.

The Twins and the 28-year-old right-hander agreed Monday to a $58 million, five-year contract that adds $42-million in guaranteed money from 2017-19.

Hughes went 16-10 with a 3.52 ERA and led the major leagues among qualifying pitchers with an 11.63 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He had been scheduled to make $8-million each of the next two seasons as part of a $24 million, three-year contract he signed as a free agent after leaving the New York Yankees.

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He will make $9.2-million in each of the next two years and $13.2-million annually from 2017-19. The deal includes $200,000 per year in available performance bonuses and a limited no-trade provision.

In what was another long season for the Twins' starting rotation, Hughes was the one guy the team could rely on each time he took the mound. He was coming off a woeful season with the Yankees in which he went 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA and he had given up 59 home runs over his previous two seasons. Hughes was revitalized in pitcher-friendly Target Field.

Hughes allowed 16 homers and walked 16 batters, becoming the sixth pitcher in baseball history to walk fewer than 20 batters while pitching at least 200 innings in a season.

As part of the original deal he signed with the Twins before last season, Hughes would have received a $500,000 bonus for reaching 210 innings pitched. But he finished with 209 2-3 and turned down a chance to pitch out of the bullpen over the final weekend of the season to earn the extra money.

Not long after the season ended, the Twins opened negotiations with Hughes's agent to address one of the biggest bargains in baseball last season.

It was another bold move for the struggling Twins, who have lost at least 90 games in each of the last four seasons. They spent $55 million to land free agent starter Ervin Santana on a four-year deal and also have outfielder Torii Hunter $10.5 million for a one-year deal to return to the organization where he got his start.

The agreement with Hughes was first reported by the New York Daily News.

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