Padres acquire pitcher Phil Hughes in trade with Twins

The San Diego Padres acquired pitcher Phil Hughes from the Minnesota Twins on Sunday for minor catcher Janigson Villalobos, hoping the former All-Star can find his form in a new spot.

The last-place Padres also got cash and the 74th pick in next month’s draft from Minnesota in the deal.

Hughes was designated for assignment last Monday. He was 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA in 12 innings over seven games, two of them starts. Minnesota reached the AL wild-card game last season, but has been below .500 for more than a month.

“For the Twins to be able to consummate that deal and give Phil an opportunity to get back to pitch, that’s a good thing,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said before a game at Seattle.


Hughes, who has been slowed by surgeries in recent years, is making $13.2 million this season and due to make $13.2 next year. He was 32-29 with a 4.43 ERA in parts of five seasons with Minnesota.

The 31-year-old righty went 16-10 with Minnesota in 2014 in his first season after leaving the New York Yankees. That led to him getting a new contract that added three years and $42 million in additional guaranteed money.

Hughes dealt with back trouble in 2015, and in June 2016 his left leg was broken by a batted ball. While on the disabled list, he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and had his first of two surgeries to take out a rib to address shoulder weakness he was feeling.

The 21-year-old Villalobos has played parts of two seasons in the low minors for the Padres. He will join the Gulf Coast League Twins, who haven’t started this season yet.



Mets reliever A.J. Ramos has flown back to New York to get his right shoulder checked out by a doctor. Assistant general manager John Ricco says Ramos told the club about tightness in the shoulder after the right-hander allowed three runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning in a 17-6 loss Saturday to the Milwaukee Brewers. Ramos has given up eight runs in his last 4 2/3 innings. The Mets also optioned Chris Flexen to Triple-A Las Vegas before the series finale against the Brewers on Sunday and recalled P.J. Conlon.