Time to be rational. As rational as one can be under the circumstances, anyway. Which is not very rational.
- Let us take this opportunity to thank everyone who played a part in bringing Felix to Seattle in the first place. Here are a couple good old P-I articles: Morosi and Andriesen. The key quote?
"The money was good, and Seattle treated me the best," he said through an interpreter.
- Felix was a bigger deal at 14 than any of us will ever be, ever.
- Yesterday morning, I watched my favorite hockey team beat the crap out of a close division rival. Yesterday afternoon, I landed an absolute dream job and officially set in motion plans to move to Portland in a few weeks. And yesterday night, news broke of Felix Hernandez signing a long-term contract. I never thought the best day of my life would involve a complete stranger getting seventy-eight million dollars, but here we are.
- It's funny. Had the Mariners received top prospect Scott Elarton instead of Freddy Garcia in the Randy Johnson trade, then not only would we have wound up with a worse pitcher - we may never have been able to land the King. In a weird way, the Randy Johnson trade is kind of one of the best moves the team's ever made.
- So now we can all breathe easy. At the start of the offseason, I was cautiously optimistic. Then that dropped. Then, about a month ago, I started to get really good vibes. And now it's all set. In all honesty, by yesterday a Felix extension seemed more a question of When than If. But all along there was always that little shred of nightmare potential, and so to get this sewed up...I didn't think a Felix contract would make me this happy. Not in a million years. I could run a naked marathon.
- I would not be the least bit concerned about how the negotiations went. That $45m/4yr offer that broke a while back, for example - that was just a starting point. Today, Baker mentions that the M's wanted four years and Felix wanted six. It'd be easy to read that and think, "What? They only wanted four years?" But, for one thing, there aren't any details included. Could've easily wanted four guaranteed years with fifth- and maybe sixth-year options. And for another, this is how you negotiate. If Felix wants six and you're comfortable with five, you offer four and meet in the middle. You don't just cave to the other party's demands. Even when it's Felix. If you start with five, you run the risk of hitting an impasse - "If you can do five, what's the risk of one more year?" Go with four and there's an obvious compromise. I urge everyone to give the front office the benefit of the doubt, here. At the end of the day, they got their man locked up.
- There's been a little bit of disappointment among fans that there isn't a sixth year. I get it. This is Felix. I would've done six, too. But remember that, historically, long-term pitcher contracts haven't worked out very well. When pitchers are involved, it's hard enough to predict what's going to happen one year down the road, nevermind a half-dozen. I would say that this five-year contract is the absolute ideal. It's both long enough to keep Felix around for a while, and short enough to reduce the odds of an albatross. A sixth-year option would've been cool, but you can't ask the world to be perfect, and we already live in a reality in which Felix Hernandez is a Seattle Mariner through October 2014.
- When people would ask him about his future in recent months, Felix would sarcastically repond with statements like "ask the Mariners" or jokes about how he was being traded to Boston. Now that's all out the window. In 2010, we get to watch Felix Hernandez pitch stress-free. Make no mistake: he is happy to be here. He wouldn't have been open to an extension if he weren't. He is happy to be here, and before long the Mariners are going to give him a taste of the playoffs.
- In the past, I have expressed concern that the front office wasn't going about handling the Felix situation in the right way. I take it all back.
- Dear Boston and New York,
Yeah, there's a team way over here. I know, right?
The Team With More Felix Hernandezes Than You
- I don't even...seriously. Seriously? In 2008, the Mariners paid about $51m for Richie Sexson, Jose Vidro, Carlos Silva, Jarrod Washburn, and Miguel Batista. Now our long-term contracts belong to Felix Hernandez, Franklin Gutierrez, Ichiro, Milton Bradley, Chone Figgins, Jack Wilson, and Dustin Ackley. I think that means we're doing better.