For anyone with even a passing interest in the game of baseball living in the Pacific Northwest, the report that Felix Hernandez is on the verge of signing a seven-year, $175 million dollar extension to stay with the Seattle Mariners should be welcomed as good news provided the details involving his elbow are sorted out.
Following a long winter of discontent, the Felix Hernandez deal may seem like a king's ransom financially to the Mariners. It's not without risks, but essentially it had to be done.
Of course not everyone agrees, as Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal points out:
The commitment by both the player and team is admirable, as is the passion of the fans. But get back to me in a few years, and tell me if everyone still holds the same romantic view.
I’m sorry, the risk of trading Felix—even when factoring in the possibility that the return might have been disappointing—was less than the risk of signing him for $175 million.
At the same time Sports Illustrated's Joe Lemire explained late last week:
Keeping Hernandez in Seattle long-term is also validation of sorts for general manager Jack Zduriencik, who has received a barrage of trade offers over the years but rebuffed them all, insisting he'd keep his ace. It's impossible to judge whether that was the best strategy without knowing the particulars of the trade proposals and whether any of them would have been sufficiently franchise-changing for the quantity and quality offered, but Zduriencik's insistence on holding onto Hernandez certainly looks a lot better given the player's willingness to remain with the club long-term.
From the Mariners' perspective, this extension for Hernandez seems sound in reasoning, given his talent, his age, his history and the marketplace. From Hernandez's perspective, well, it's safe to say it's good to be King.
The fact is we don't know what packages may or may not have been offered for Felix. What we do know is that Jack Zduriencik probably saved himself from being chased out of town with pitchforks. This deal is as much about keeping the city of Seattle appeased as it is about Felix's talent, age and his history.
Those factors are simply icing on the cake of a deal that should help send the Mariners to spring training on a high note.
What's next as we wait for everyone to report for the start of the 2013 season?
It's at this point I suppose some predictions are in order for Felix Hernandez along with the Mariners to gauge what effect his contract may have on this year and beyond.
So without further ado let's take a quick look into our crystal ball to see what the future holds.