Obviously, the end result in 2011 was disastrous for a Seattle Mariners team that flirted with 100 losses. The season’s silver lining, however, was the youth infusion. Michael Pineda, Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak and Mike Carp all had their moments.
A curious case going forward is that of Felix Hernandez. King Felix is still just 25 years old and under control through the 2014 season.
But would the Mariners be better off trading him?
It’s safe to say Seattle’s rebuilding process will be a long one.
The M’s may not be finished rebuilding by 2014, even.
And, with King Felix making $20 million in the final year of his deal, I can’t imagine what he’ll get in his next contract. Probably C.C. Sabathia money if not more.
Could the Mariners, then, not get a king’s ransom today by trading him to a team starved for an ace? Would Boston not give up Clay Buchholz plus prospects? Would the Yankees not give up Jesus Montero and more?
On the other hand, Hernandez is already a Cy Young winner and two-time All-Star just entering prime. He’s as valuable to his team as any pitcher in the game.
If Pineda continues to develop, you could argue that the Mariners are better off keeping Felix and acquiring another starting pitcher to try and improve rapidly.
General manager Jack Z has to think long and hard about this one.