Why Extending Felix Hernandez Could Save the Mariners Offseason
The Seattle Mariners haven't necessarily had the best offseason so far. Sure, the M's were able to reel in players like Kendrys Morales and Mike Morse through trade, but both deals came with questions.
So with time ticking down until pitchers and catchers report, is there any realistic move out there that Seattle can do to appease a restless fan base?
As a matter of fact there is.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports recently reported that Mariners ownership has again picked up the pace in trying to ink Felix Hernandez to an extension to keep the King in Seattle. In the article, Rosenthal points out that no deal is imminent, but that the Mariners are at least weighing the idea of offering a four-year, $100 million extension.
If that's all it's going to take to keep Felix in Seattle, then General Manager Jack Zduriencik should be at Felix's front door right now holding a pen. Back in August, Dave Cameron of U.S.S Mariner discussed what a possible Felix Hernandez extension would look like, which he believed would look very similar to what the Mariners are rumored to be offering now. However, there are others out there including Bleacher Report's own Ian Casselberry, who believe Felix could be the first $200 million man.
Locking up Felix Hernandez now would rescue the Mariners from the disappointment of the 2013 offseason and would put a rest to the Felix trade rumors that never seem to die. If Seattle can find a way to get an extension done, it would at least put the Mariners on a high note going into the 2013 season and would make Mariners fans can stop worrying about the current 2014 deadline.
By extending Felix, the Seattle Mariners ownership shows pending free agents like Curtis Granderson, Jacoby Ellsbury and Robinson Cano that they are serious about winning. In fact, getting a deal done with the King would be a good starting point for when Seattle has to resign either Morales or Morse at the end of the season as both players currently have only one year left on their deals.
With the hoard of pitching talent Seattle has in Danny Hultzen, James Paxton and Taijuan Walker, Seattle will need the King to lead the rotation as the young arms continue to develop. Felix's presence will do nothing but benefit the young trio, and could potentially help Seattle have one of the best rotations in baseball for years to come.
When it comes down to it, this is a move that the Mariners need to get done. Not just for the benefit of the team moving forward, but to reward a fan base that has been desperate for a winner for years.
Sure, Felix may not be the big bat all M's fans were looking for this offseason. But the King is, and will be the face of the franchise, and making him a "Mariner for life" is a deal everyone can agree on.
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