With all the things going on in the baseball world right now that aren’t shining endorsements and feel good stories for our favorite sport, Felix Hernandez signing a long contract extension with the Mariners is good for baseball.
Last summer there was some sentiment that the Mariners should try to trade King Felix and get what return they could on the 27-year old pitcher who has served as the cornerstone of the franchise. It wasn’t a notion we liked or agreed with. Hernandez was one of the few assets the Mariners had within their organization that puts butts in the seats. The Mariners haven’t been in a pennant race into the summer heat days in a number of years. The most excitement they’re treated to is buying a ticket every fifth day to watch this guy go out and hang K’s in the outfield upper deck.
The bottom line is with a player like Hernandez (he’s been worth 38.3 fWAR over the course of his career to date) what better building block could you ask for in your organization? You can dump Hernandez for a couple prospects but our feeling is at that point you’re in a crapshoot just hoping that one of them pans out or the sum of the middling parts equals the whole of what you traded away.
The Mariners have hooked their cart to a very fine horse. And if you’re going to do it with a pitcher in baseball today, there’s very few that you could argue are a better bet to do this with than King Felix. Pitchers break down annually, but Hernandez has shown no signs of arm or mechanic problems that could be considered red flags or preludes to a serious problem down the road.
We hate when familiar faces in change spots from familiar places in baseball. We hate change. Felix has become as synonomous with Seattle to us as the Space Needle. And let’s face it, when it’s 10:05 on a Thursday night and there’s only two games on the MLB slate for that day to begin with; how excited do you get when you see King Felix on the bump and making his warm-up tosses?
King Felix remaining in Seattle is good for the game.