Other than Edgar Martinez, the Seattle Mariners have been unable to keep a high-profile player in a Mariner uniform for the duration of his career. When Ichiro was shipped to New York in July, the M's lost a large part of their identity as well as a fan favorite.
Felix Hernandez is now the face of the franchise, and it's imperative that the king remains upon his Pacific Northwest throne.
Here are three reasons Felix could finish his career in Seattle.
Felix Hernandez looks out towards King's Court in left field.
Earlier this season, Hernandez stated (h/t Seattle Times) that he wants to "help the Seattle Mariners win a Wold Series." The kind of commitment from a superstar player on a mediocre club is rare, so the king should get what he wants, which is apparently to stay in Seattle.
The biggest factor in his future with the Mariners is his contract, which will expire after the 2014 season.
He's currently in the third year of a five-year, $78 million deal, which means he'll be 28 by the time it expires.
He'll likely demand, deservedly, something like five years worth close to $100 million. The Mariners' front office should absolutely play genie to his Aladdin, but they do have a history of not spending where they should, and overspending where they shouldn't.
Felix could stay in Seattle because soon enough, he'll have more reasons to stay.
I'm not talking about dollars, I'm talking about bigger numbers in the win column for the Mariners.
They've already surpassed their win total from last season, and it appears the team is on the rise and will be a playoff contender in two seasons at most.
Felix says he wants to stay with the Mariners, but if the team doesn't win, it'll be tough for him to stand by his word. Luckily, the team is showing continued improvement and has a plethora of young talent in the minor leagues.
In the past, Felix's number has been deflated by lack of run support. Although still anemic at times, the M's are on pace to blow past last season's total in terms of runs scored, which bodes well for Hernandez and his future with the organization.
The more run support Felix gets, the more wins he'll accumulate and the happier he'll be in Seattle.