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Friday, December 23, 2011

Drayer: Why you do not trade Felix Hernandez right now

But deal Michael Pineda instead. (calls Schick Shadel Hospital…confirms bed for evening)

Michael Pineda does not just step into the ace role. It took Felix almost four years to turn into what we see today.

Pineda in the second half of the season was hardly dominating. Yes, they were keeping his pitch counts down, but do yourself a favor and go look at his post All-Star numbers. What is most disturbing is that Pineda was focused on having an even better second half than first. He told me after the All-Star Game that is what he would be most proud of. If he could finish strong knowing that hitters had seen him, Hernandez would consider that to be as big as winning the Rookie of the Year Award. He went in the other direction. All that said, Pineda has a great chance to turn into an ace, it is just going to take time. Felix is there and is showing no sign of slowing down.

...If I am trading pitching, I am trading Pineda. Why? Because he is replaceable. There is a very good chance that by the end of next season Danny Hultzen could be Michael Pineda on the hill in regards to development, path, and what he brings to the rotation. If you trade Felix no one is close to being what he is, an established ace who has suffered through the growing pains, who has learned the league and is committed to his team and community. That is what he is now and what he should be for some time to come.

I am not saying you don’t listen to offers. I am saying you darn well better know what you have, both now and potentially in the future before you make a move. I believe Zduriencik does and that is why he says he will not trade Felix.

Repoz Posted: December 23, 2011 at 10:31 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, mariners, media

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: December 23, 2011 at 11:32 PM (#4022840)
Want to make sure I have this correct.

1. If you're going to trade a pitcher, trade Pindeda not Hernandez because Hernandez is a much better pitcher than Pineda.

2. Discuss point (1) with no reference to likely return in terms of players or that Felix is owed $58 M over the next 3 years.

3. Which isn't to say don't trade Felix, just make sure you realize he's one of the best pitchers in baseball before you do -- in case that hadn't occurred to you before you had the idea that you might trade Felix.

It took Felix almost four years to turn into what we see today.

What's our definition of "today"? Over the last 3 years, Felix has indeed been quite the stud. But in 2011, he put up just a 111 ERA+. The peripherals were all pretty much the same so I'm not suggesting that's a new Felix.

While I'm on the topic of Felix, anybody recall the classic Rich Lederer (I think it was) vs. Dave Cameron Weaver vs. Felix debate? For 2009-11, they both have 16.7 WAR (Chone).
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: December 23, 2011 at 11:54 PM (#4022846)
There is no way Seattle should trade Felix.

He's expensive, so nobody is going to give them the kind of package they'd need to sell it to the fans (multiple young, cheap major leaguers, plus a couple good prospects).

The revenue hit from any other kind of trade would likely be huge, and they're a big market team that shouldn't blanch at paying Felix.

It's not like they have any other long term commitments.
   3. i don't vibrate on the frequency of the 57i66135 Posted: December 24, 2011 at 12:33 AM (#4022855)
i think the issue is more that, by the time the mariners are next ready to contend, is felix likely to still be felix? and more to the point of this article, when hultzen, paxton and walker are in their primes, is pineida likely to be better than felix?

assuming the return for hernandez would reflect his peak value, i think the smarter play might be to move felix for some high upside bats, tank for a year or 3 and use the resulting picks to bring in more high upside bats, and then hope that by the time pineida, hultzen, paxton, and walker are in their primes, the team will have actually developed a competent offense.
   4. shattnering his Dominicano G Strings on that Mound Posted: December 24, 2011 at 12:43 AM (#4022859)
I know that we're seeing tons of evidence to the contrary, and that Felix should/would have a *ton* of value to most any team looking to contend. But the packages for players like the King never seem to add up. I agree w/ Rany's notion/observation that prospects are a might bit overvalued at present and that you cash in those prospects 10 times out of 10 for a player like Felix Hernandez. Felix Hernandez literally *is* a once in a lifetime talent. What prospect outside of Stasburg stands any chance at all of becoming Felix Hernandez?

Now I know that trading him, even at his current contract, should net some high upside prospects. But what are the odds of them doing anything close to the value King Felix puts up? Honestly, run that guy out there every day possible for the next 3 years. And if he is still as good as he should be, you resign him. He's so awesome, has such an awesome nickname, and has been a Mariner from such a young age that seeing him in any other uniform would be blasphemous.*

* To me at least. I hoped Pujols would stay in StL, for instance.
   5. CraigK Posted: December 24, 2011 at 12:52 AM (#4022866)
I thing the main origin of these "Felix-to-Yankees" rumors that hacks keep trying to force into existence (beside the usual "oh god the Yankees have gone a whole TWO YEARS without winning, someone turn on Forced Trades and get everyone good onto here") is the idea that Felix is a very good pitcher on a shitty ballclub, and thus, he obviously can't be happy in this situation.

Except it's bullshit. Everything that's come out of Seattle says that he loves the team, loves the stadium, loves the city. He and his family actually live in Seattle during the season. Every Rosenthal or Bowden trying to manufactre a "he obviously hates it in Seattle, trade him to the Yankees where he'll be happy" is just that, manufacturing a story out of whole cloth.
   6. Monty Posted: December 24, 2011 at 01:05 AM (#4022870)
As long as the Mariners have Felix, people will have a reason to come to the ballpark occasionally. If they're on a five-year rebuilding plan, it's still a good idea to have something going on so that they'll still have fans when they start winning.

I mean, they've got to start winning eventually, right?
   7. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 24, 2011 at 01:17 AM (#4022875)
i think the issue is more that, by the time the mariners are next ready to contend, is felix likely to still be felix? and more to the point of this article, when hultzen, paxton and walker are in their primes, is pineida likely to be better than felix?

What the Mariners should do is keep Felix and Pineda to form a great top of the rotation and leverage their high revenue potential to build a good team around them instead of dicking around trading their good players in the hope that a better future will come when they have a perfectly good base to build from already. Yeah, they have some big holes and the offense has blown but part of that has been Zduriencik's actual results so far being significantly different than the hype he has received. Yes, the team was in bad shape and he has to be judged on process to a fairly large degree but so far the process isn't exactly spectacular. Ichiro!'s contract is up after next season so the only payroll committed to Hernandez or players not pulling their weight is $27.5 million, there's a lot of room to make a couple good free agent signings, some smart pickups of relievers or complimentary players, and maybe make a couple good trades. There is no reason for them to act like a low payroll team trying to open a window of a few years of having a bunch of good farm products be productive at once, if Zduriencik doesn't believe that he can put together a team capable of making a run at the AL West title by 2014 then he should just resign now and let someone better take a shot. Besides, it's not like they have to make a decision about going for it with Hernandez or trading him while he can still bring back a great return, they easily have the resources to keep him past his current contract.

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