Sunday, February 10, 2013

EXTENDED! Felix Hernandez

By the Seattle Mariners for five years and $135.5MM
The "official" confirmation isn't quite out yet, but all signs are pointing to the fact that the 2010 AL Cy Young award winner for the Mariners will be staying in Seattle for a very long time.  Felix Hernandez, unquestionably Seattle's best and brightest talent and debatably one of the two three pitchers in baseball,  added five years on to the two years remaining in his current contract.  The move is a polarizing one, as the Mariners are not expected to contend in the brutal AL West for years, but I believe that Jack Zduriencik pulled a smart string with this move. If this offseason has proven anything it's that premium pitching in free agency has a huge price, and it's only going up.

Just because the Mariners are struggling now doesn't mean they will for the next seven years, and what's a better piece to build a team around than a young, bonafide ace?  Players like Mike Zunino and Taijuan Walker aren't too far away from being major league ready, and players like Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak are still young enough to develop in to substantial players.  Middle and small market teams like the Seattle Mariners require a lot of patience to develop in to legitimate contenders, especially when they are facing divisional adversaries as consistently strong as the Rangers or Angels.  A huge sign like this is an indication that the Mariners have a ton of faith in their ace and their up and coming young talent, and a move like that deserves praise.

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