I have been a Mariners fan my entire life, and Felix Hernandez is one of the best individual players to suit up for the franchise in its history.
It would be sad to see him go, but now is the time to trade King Felix.
I grew up in Spokane, Washington and cheered the Mariners every season. I saw some great seasons with the likes of Ken Griffey Jr., Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, John Olerud, Dan Wilson, and Bret Boone. (Notice I didn’t mention A-Rod? That’s because I refuse to acknowledge him as a Mariner).
I also have witnessed some awful baseball with the cast of Chone Figgins, Kenji Johjima, and Casey Kotchman.
Safeco Field is a beautiful place to play baseball, but it is not a hitter’s park by any means. However, the Mariners have invested a lot into good pitching, which is great, but when you have the park as an ally you don’t necessarily need stellar pitching.
The Mariners could get by with decent pitching, and they have the prospects to supplant King Felix if he is traded. You know what they don’t have? A single batter that the opposing pitcher is nervous to face.
Heck, I’ll trot out to the mound and pitch against my Mariners, and my ERA won’t be any worse than my slow pitch softball league.
Hernandez is signed through 2014, so he is not just a rental player that another team would be receiving. The team would be getting a Cy Young pitcher for two years, and any team in the playoff race would kill to have him.
The Mariners have had some excellent players in their minor league system and have made some awful trades. Ever heard of Asdrubal Cabrera? I know you have. The Indians’ stellar shortstop used to be in the Mariners organization.
How about Shin-Soo Choo? Another great player who was in the Mariner farm system. They traded them and got no one of value in return.
If the Mariners do trade King Felix they need to get legitimate bats in return. Not pitchers, not speedsters, not AA prospects who may be good in 2-3 years. Seattle needs to get AAA prospects on the cusp on getting the call up to the big leagues, or proven veterans with lethal sticks.
If the Mariners play this right, they can get a few players they can stick in the middle of the order in the next year or two and actually enable the lineup to score runs. I am sick and tired of seeing them lose 3-0 or 4-1. They need to acquire players who will hit for good power and a great average.
If they don’t, and if they simply hold onto King Felix, they will squander an opportunity to improve their team via trading an ace pitcher, an opportunity that does not come around very often.