Whenever a major player becomes available via trade or free-agency, the Yankees rumors start floating around, and if it is an area of need, it becomes close to hysteria. If the need is big enough, a player doesn’t have to become available before rumors starting racing across the tubes. That’s the case with Felix Hernandez. The talented and yet still 25-year old pitcher is one of the very best pitchers in the game, and he’s the cornerstone of the Seattle Mariners franchise. The phrase “Face of the Franchise”, however, seems tenable as the Mariners continue to lose. Theoretically, the Mariners would want to trade their most valuable asset, knowing that a playoff run isn’t in the near future, for several impact prospects, essentially turning one great player into 2-3 good ones. In reality, the Mariners don’t want or need to move Hernandez, but for the sake of this post’s existence, let’s pretend that they’ll consider it.
The first question is what you are getting with Hernandez. The answer is easy—awesomeness. Over the past three seasons, he’s eclipsed 200 innings, and he’s pitched 240 in each of the last two seasons. While throwing so many innings, he’s been excellent. His K/BB ratios have cleared 3 in each of the last three seasons, and during the same length of time, his FIP of 3.28 is eighth in all of baseball. Combining his good strikeout rates, above-average walk rates, and a GB/FB rate nearing 2, Hernandez is one of the game’s best pitchers, and he’s just turned 25. The next question is how good he’ll be over the next 4 years through the end of his contract.
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