Felix Hernandez Trade Possibilities: 5 Teams That Will Come Calling at Deadline
The Seattle Mariners (36-51) are still very much in a rebuilding stage and will be sellers this year at the trade deadline as they will be looking to add young talent.
Although Felix Hernandez is their best pitcher and has plenty of years ahead of him, the notion of Seattle parting ways with has come about this season, as his contract expires after 2014.
The main concern had been the Mariners' lack of success and the worry that Hernandez will want to play for a winning team, one which can also better reflect his pitching attributes in statistics.
King Felix was quoted as saying he wants to stay in Seattle, however.
"First of all, it's not my decision. I don't think they're going to trade me. I like Seattle, and I want to help the Seattle Mariners win a World Series."
That has to instill confidence in M's fans, and hopefully the front office will decide it's in the best interest of the franchise to keep their best player, one who is 26 and has won a Cy Young award and is making his third All Star appearance this week.
All that being said, you never know what will happen come July 31, so here are a handful of teams who could aggressively pursue Felix Hernandez.
New York Yankees
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The Yankees are almost always buyers at the trade deadline, and money is no issue to them, not to mention their pitching staff has taken a bit of a hit this season due to injuries. (Joba Chamberlain, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera and Michael Pineda are all currently on the DL.)
The Bronx Bombers are always a threat to scoop up a franchise player at the deadline, and I expect them to at the very least offer some prospects in exchange for Seattle's ace.
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The Pittsburgh Pirates are 11 games over .500 and lead the NL Central at the All-Star break. They have a good shot at finishing the season with a winning record for the first time since Barry Bonds donned a Bucs uni in 1992.
The Pirates have the fifth lowest payroll in the league, and cold most likely afford Hernandez as they have just one player making over $5 million this season, AJ Burnett.
I see Pittsburgh as a long shot to make a run at King Felix, but they've positioned themselves to be in the playoff hunt and will be buying at the deadline.
Los Angeles Angels
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The Angels had a huge offseason adding Albert Pujols and C.J. Wilson, but they haven't pulled away in any playoff races.
Hernandez would easily give the Halos the best starting rotation in baseball. They already have the aforementioned Wilson, Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana and currently injured Dan Haren.
The only issue here is the money. L.A. currently has the third highest payroll in baseball, and adding a large contract such as Hernandez's would be tough to accommodate.
With an average age of 28, the Angels have positioned themselves to be long-term contenders, and adding King Felix would propel them to the next level.
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The woeful Phillies find themselves at the bottom of the NL East just four years after winning a World Series.
All of their key players are over 30 and each have humongous contracts which will be nearly impossible to burden onto another team, especially the Mariners.
If the Phillies can work out a three team deal and unload some of their expensive expiring contracts and send some young players to the Pacific Northwest, they could get younger by adding Hernandez as they hope to solve their problems of 2012.
Tampa Bay Rays
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The AL East has been the best division in baseball this year, and someone needs to challenge the Yankees. The Rays have made late season pushes recently, and adding a former Cy Young winner to the mix would be just what they need.
They could package some young prospects and it may be beneficial to both clubs.