If there was any justice, Phil Hughes would have a clause in his contract triggering a $500,000 bonus for being named Twins MVP.
He'll have to settle for the trophy instead. Hughes, a free agent signee last December who delivered one of the most effective seasons in Twins history, has been elected the 54th winner of the Calvin Griffith Award as Twins Most Valuable Player, the team announced on Thursday.
Hughes, who wound up one-third of an inning short of earning a performance bonus worth a half-million dollars, is the sixth pitcher, and first since Johan Santana in 2005, to earn the MVP honor in a vote of the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
After winning 16 games, posting a 3.52 ERA, and walking only 16 batters, Hughes was also named the team's Pitcher of the Year, only the third starting pitcher in the last seven years to win the Joseph P. Haynes Award.
Hughes, in the first season of a three-year, $24 million free-agent contract, also set a new major-league record with an 11.63 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Hughes wasn't the only pitcher honored by the local BBWAA, however.
Pat Neshek, a Park Center graduate who posted a 1.87 ERA for the St. Louis Cardinals, was voted the winner of the Dick Seibert Award as the best major-league player who comes from the Upper Midwest region.
Neshek also won the award in 2007 while with the Twins.
For his .319-with-20-steals season, Danny Santana was voted Twins rookie of the year, while infielder Eduardo Escobar, who took over the starting shortstop job in May, was honored as the most improved Twin.
Second baseman Brian Dozier was selected the defensive player of the year, and catcher Kurt Suzuki was chosen for the Bob Allison Award for Outstanding Leadership.
And for the first time in the nine-year history of the Mike Augustin Award, the media "good guy" was not a Twins player. Ron Gardenhire, fired earlier this month after 13 seasons as Twins manager, was elected by BBWAA members for his cooperation with the media.
Pitcher Brian Duensing was named by the Twins organization as the winner of the team's community service award, which is chosen by team management and named for former owner Carl Pohlad.
Those award winners, along with minor-league players of the year Kennys Vargas and J.O. Berrios, will be honored at the annual Diamond Awards at Target Field on Jan. 22, 2015.