The' offseason has only just begun, but allow me to summarize the early activity:
- this one guy won't be around anymore
- neither will this one other guy
- or that guy's supposed "right-hand man"
- and this one guy from the minors won't be around anymore either
- this one guy can't take any more of this and doesn't want to be around anymore
In the early going, it's been an offseason characterized by departure. Then a few days ago, we got potential word of a...not "arrival"...let's go with anti-departure. In case you didn't see this:
Source tells me M's working pretty hard on an extension for King Felix. May have something done right before or right after World Series.— Jason A. Churchill (@ProspectInsider) October 10, 2012
Okay, mull that over, and keep the source considered. Thursday morning, we were given this:
there have been no new king felix talks. 1 of the 3 best pitchers in mlb (verlander, kershaw) has 2 years to go on deal.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) October 11, 2012
Seems to disagree with the Churchill report, right? I mean, I guess kind of, but not really, not necessarily. First of all, we have to acknowledge that at any moment, Churchill or Heyman could be passing along bad information. Not on purpose, although I suppose maybe on purpose. But look at the two tweets. You have Churchill saying the Mariners are working hard on a contract extension for Felix. You have Heyman saying the Mariners haven't really talked contract extension with Felix. These aren't opposites, because not all of the work that goes into developing a contract extension comes out of chatter between the two parties.
Right now, and for the next few weeks, the Mariners are holding a bunch of organizational meetings in order to review what happened and come up with some sort of comprehensive plan for the future. At the end of this interview, Jack Zduriencik says as much. A quote, after Zduriencik was asked about re-signing Felix:
Well, first of all, Felix wants to stay here, and we want to keep Felix here. You know, and nothing's ever too early. At the end of the day, what we're going to do is, in a series of meetings coming up the next month or so, we'll evaluate a lot of things. We want to keep Felix here, you know, Felix and I have talked about different things, I have a good relationship with his agent, and I don't intend on trading Felix Hernandez at all.
Surely, Zduriencik has talked to Felix and his agent about a potential extension before. I doubt they got so far as to discuss specific numbers, but there would've been an exchange of general ideas, and now the Mariners could be in the process of drafting a proposal around those ideas. This is me speculating, of course, but Zduriencik and Felix wouldn't have to be in constant contact. The Mariners would have to come up with something they feel is satisfactory, and then that would be proposed to Felix, and then things would go from there, with Felix either accepting or making a counter-offer or grimacing I guess because he was eating grapes at the time and he just got a really bad and soft grape without looking at it first, ewww.
"Felix has made it clear he'd like to stay here, and we've made it clear we'd like him to stay," Zduriencik said. "That's all I'm going to comment on that right now."
I've gotten the vibe for a while that the Mariners will sign Felix to an extension this offseason. It is, at its core, basically just a gut feeling, but then Joe Girardi pinch-hitting Raul Ibanez for Alex Rodriguez last night was basically a gut feeling and look what gut feelings can do sometimes but not very many times! Felix, as you know, is under contract for another two years, and this gets cited as a reason why the Mariners need to speed up their organizational development and improvement, but while there's nothing wrong with getting better faster, the Mariners have never been limited by just the remainder of Felix's current contract. There has always existed the possibility of Felix signing a new contract, and I really do think it happens. Maybe for another four years. Maybe for another five, or four and an option, or anything, I don't know, I've never drafted a contract. Any contract extension would be steep, but Felix Hernandez is one of the greatest starting pitchers in the world so if you're looking for a bargain, here's the Baseball-Reference page for Ross Ohlendorf, I understand he just became a free agent. You can never have enough Ivy League pitchers in your major-league starting rotation, that's what I've always said.
I might've just constructed a whole post out of nothing. Jason Churchill passed along a rumor, as he does, and Jon Heyman commented on said rumor with information of his own. But basically, if the Mariners were not presently at work thinking about a Felix contract extension, I'd be pretty surprised. It seems like the move to make, and if it's evident to me, you gotta figure it's evident to them.