Twins pitcher Phil Hughes has turned down a chance to qualify for the $500,000 bonus that he came up just short of after his last start on Wednesday afternoon at Target Field.
Hughes pitched eight innings and held Arizona to one run on 96 pitches before the an hour-long rain delay ended his afternoon one out away from 210 innings pitched, which would have qualified him for the bonus in his contract with Twins.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and general manager Terry Ryan offered Hughes a chance to record the out by throwing relief at Comerica Park, during the team's final series this weekend. But Hughes decided to turn the offer down.
"They extended the offer to me to pitch in the bullpen, but I just didn't think it was right," Hughes said Thursday. "If I were fighting for a playoff spot, I'd 100 percent be available. But given the circumstances, I don't think it's the right thing to do."
Hughes signed a three-year contract with the Twins for $24 million during the last offseason.
"I thought about it for a little bit, and I just thought that would be unfair," Hughes said to FOX Sports Net on the broadcast. "We've got a lot of guys in the bullpen that are pitching for a job next year, pitching to impress some guys in our coaching staff. I just didn't feel it would be right to take that inning from them."
He won his 16th game of the season Wednesday and set a Major League record for the highest single season strikeout-to-walk ratio at 11.63.
According to the Pioneer Press, Ryan discussed the issue with Twins owner Jim Pohlad and team president Dave St. Peter before he made the offer to Hughes.
"I thought the right thing to do was to ask him his guidance here and present it to him, and he decided after a little thought he just wasn't going to do it," Ryan said. "He made a decision, and I certainly respect that. It is a decision that would be difficult to make if you're a player."
The Twins close their season this weekend in Detroit.