No seriously, I haven’t been this excited to follow the Seattle Mariners since the team traded Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek for Heathcliff Slocumb. Ken Rosenthal broke the news late last night that Seattle had reached a long-term agreement with King Felix and it appears the deal is in the neighborhood of five years and $78 million dollars. Hernandez was eligible for free agency in 2011, and coming off a tremendous 2009 season that saw him finish second in the Cy Young Award balloting, was set to get a record-breaking deal if he tested the free-agent waters.
The contract is an outright steal considering that it’s less money than the Red Sox paid to bring John Lackey aboard for the same length of time. Who would you rather have on your pitching staff for the next five years, an aging Lackey or a constantly improving Hernandez? Considering that he is still only 23-years-old, the Mariners are going to get five seasons of Felix in his prime for slightly more per year than they were paying Carlos Silva (please don’t leave any more tear filled voicemails Carlos, we’re not taking you back). Even if the Mariners are unable to resign Cliff Lee after the season, they’ve got the best young pitcher in baseball locked up through 2014, something they can undoubtedly use to lure top free-agents to Seattle (Lebron James at first base in 2011?). This move assures that the Mariners will be contenders in the AL West not just next season, but for years to come with Felix anchoring the pitching staff.
Is it too soon to name Jack Zduriencik the GM of the century? Chone Figgins, Cliff Lee, Ken Griffey Jr., Milton Bradley and now a long-term deal with the most exciting young arm in baseball? Is there anything this guy can’t do?
I’ve got a feeling (woohoo!) that 2010 is going to be a good season; that 2010 is a going to be a good season; that 2010 is a going to be a good, good season!
Let the party start, King Felix isn’t going anywhere.
Filed under: AL West, Baseball, Free Agency/Trades, Seattle Mariners | Tagged: carlos silva, chone figgins, cliff lee, Derek Lowe, felix hernandez, heathcliff slocumb, Jack Zduriencik, jason varitek, Ken Griffey Jr., lebron james, Mariners, Milton Bradley, Seattle Mariners |