The Minnesota Twins are showing faith in Phil Hughes. After a spectacular season, the club has signed their star pitcher to a three-year, $42 million dollar extension. This means Hughes is under contract through 2019, his age-33 season.
Hughes will make $9.2 million in 2015 and 2016, but from 2017 through 2019 his salary will jump to $13.2 million per year. That would officially make him the highest-paid pitcher in the history of the organization.
While Hughes found success in Minnesota partially because of his reduced home run rates, he also saw his strikeout rates take a step forward while his walk rate shrunk to an historic low - leading to an MLB record 11.6 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 209.2 innings in 2014 he posted a 3.52 ERA, but FIP and xFIP both insisted he was even better (2.65 and 3.18, respectively). He also accumulated 6.1 fWAR in 2014, tying him with David Price and Jon Lester as the fourth most valuable pitcher in the game (behind Corey Kluber, Clayton Kershaw, and Felix Hernandez).
The Twins clearly believe that Hughes can lead them into the next era of competitive Twins baseball, and after watching him pitch in 2014 it's hard to disagree. Hughes now owns a five-year, $58 million contract through 2019.