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A Hypothetical Felix Hernandez Extension

I wondered about Felix's viability as a trade chit yesterday and my overriding line of thinking is that Felix is not likely to get traded within the next two years. Not a certainty, obviously, but I just don't find it likely. Now then, regardless of a trading circumstance, the hope is for Felix to stick around for as long as possible. Without a trade, Felix either walks after 2011 or, sometime between now and then, gets an extension. Unlike the trading, an extension makes the most sense, by a long shot, now.

Some preliminary numbers have been bandied about with regards to Felix and an extension. I thought I would take a look at it myself. If Felix were to sign an extension today, how would I evaluate it monetarily? Think of this as a reference guide for if, when, an extension does get signed.

Going by tRA*, which builds in some regression from 2009, and projecting 200 innings, which cuts his playing time down to the roughly standard 85% of a full season, Felix looks like a 5-win pitcher for 2010. Going by CHONE's FIP projection, it's about 5 wins as well. I'm comfortable, as you might have noticed from my division projections, with pegging Felix as a 5-win guy going forward.

Now there's a couple different ways to project out long term performance. You have to project out decline, but to combat that, you have rising inflating in the costs of wins. To a point, those usually cancel out enough. For a younger player like Franklin Gutierrez or Felix Hernandez, the decline should hopefully be less severe.

This winter the market cost of a win in free agency fell to around $4 million from the $4.5 million it was the last couple winters. Using that $4 million as the new baseline and factoring in some decline for Felix and some inflation in costs, I went year by year and came up with what I feel to be a rough, but decent, guideline to what would be reasonably "fair" to both sides:

1 year, $11 million
2 years, $25 million
3 years, $44 million
4 years, $62 million
5 years, $78 million
6 years, $94 million

The 6/100 has been a figure that's been tossed about a little and looking at this more thoroughly, appears to be pretty fair to both sides. Don't get me wrong, if Felix comes in at 6/110 or something, it's not like I'll be upset. This is why I'm writing this now before any actual figure comes out because I know if I have to do an analysis afterward, I'm going to be insanely biased toward justifying it. And I wouldn't be wrong, from a fan's perspective. But I would be wrong as an analyst.