I wasn’t really surprised when the Mariners shelled out big money ($175M for 7 years) for Felix Hernandez. Seattle loves him and he’s been by far the best player on the team since Ichiro began his decline. He even brought Seattle a perfect game.
He’s thrown over 200 innings for 6 years straight and 190+ the two years before that – an absolute workhorse. But allegedly the Mariners were worried enough about his health to put an injury clause in that mega contract. His stats actually were very good in 2013, posting a career high in K/BB of 4.70 even as his GB% shrank to near career lows. Fly balls aren’t really an issue in the cavernous SafeCo. This prediction is less base on skill degradation and more based on my expectation of an injury or playing through one.
I think he will still be a top 10-15 pitcher on a nightly basis when he goes, but getting value means having home out there every five days. If this doesn’t happen, the Mariners aren’t going to be happy plunking down $25M a year for 20 starts.
And fantasy owners using a third round pick aren’t going to overly thrilled either. Maybe take a shot at Carlos Gomez or Giancarlo Stanton instead. Wait two rounds and grab David Price, Chris Sale or Zack Greinke as your first pitcher.
Our team previews start in the northwest of the US where the weather says baseball is still months away, but I believe the calendar. The Seattle Mariners represent a bit of what I love about baseball. Perpetual hope. They might not be the best now, but they have plenty of young talent that make the future look brighter.
Let’s do a run down of the Mariners.
Major Off-Season Moves:
Acquired Kendrys Morales to bolster beleaguered lineup.
Acquired Michael Morse for the same reason.
Inked their ace, Felix Hernandez, to a 7 year $175m deal.
Moved the outfield walls in at SafeCo field.
Now on to who is going to take the field this year.
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.
This evening on The Baseball Show podcast, I was joined as always by co-hosts Mike Rosembaum (Bleacher Report Prospect Pipline, Golden Sombrero) and M.J. Lloyd (Halo Hangout, Off-Base Percentage).
Topics of discussion included:
-The Hall of Fame voting
-Which teams that have never had a Hall of Famer will next get the opportunity to have one?
-Baseball’s new mandatory HGH testing policy
-Justin Upton’s rejected trade to the Seattle Mariners, and why would the Diamondbacks try this hard to trade him?
-MLB ’13 The Show Cover Campaign Talk
-Zips Projections for the Angels, Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton
While you were sleeping this morning, the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics played 11 innings of baseball to kick off the 2012 season. This bonus baseball resulted in a 3-1 triumph for the Seattle Mariners, which kind of sucks for the Oakland A’s seeing as how they gave up a couple of home games to go over to Japan and play the Mariners for the good of the game.
Things began mostly as they should have. Felix Hernandez went 8 innings and got one lonely run of support for striking out six and walking nobody. Ichiro went 4 for 5, and Dustin Ackley was what we like to call the whole damn show. He homered to open up scoring, stole a bag, doubled in the run to break the tie in the top of the 11th and then scored on an Ichiro single.
Cliff Pennington had two hits for the A’s and Yoenis Cespedes went 1 for 3 with a double in his big league debut.
I am so happy that we have real baseball. I can’t wait for the American soil version a week from now.
Everyone ready for the start of the 2012 MLB season tomorrow morning at 6 am sharp? Mariners-A’s in the Egg Dome in Tokyo. Yoenis Cespedes, King Felix, Brandon McCarthy, and Eric Wedge are all part of a cast of characters who help us kick off another big league season. Things are starting to feel exciting in these parts.
Now get your fantasy lineups set, make sure your alarms are ready and get a few hours of sleep before we wake up and start tabulating those counting stats for six months plus.
Leading up to the start of the 2011 Regular Season, Diamond Hoggers will preview each of MLB’s 30 teams. Today’s preview features the Seattle Mariners. Stay tuned as Diamond Hoggers previews every team division by division until the start of the regular season. Continue reading →
We’re toying with some new formatting for our daily link dump. No guarantee that we stick with this, but seeing how it plays out as we head into a new season. But as standard with all ‘throwing it around’ posts on Diamond Hoggers, here were a few of the more interesting reads that we got to around the net today. After the jump that is. Continue reading →