Dec
22

Why the Mariners won’t trade Felix Hernandez

By

(Amy Sancetta/AP)

The No. 1 question we receive every day is some variant of, why don’t the Yankees trade for Felix Hernandez, or the Yankees should trade the farm for Felix. This is an understandable reaction to a rough situation. Many fans had so vividly imagined Cliff Lee in pinstripes that the reality of him going to Philadelphia has caused a bit of a blinder. The most prominent such blinder is the thought that Seattle might trade Hernandez to the Yankees.

The reason the Yankees won’t acquire Felix, at least in the near term, relates more to Seattle than it does New York. After all, they’re the one that holds the prized player. They have a number of reasons to hold Felix rather than cash him in for prospects. Given Felix’s ability and contract, along with the team’s overall situation, I can’t see them making a trade any time soon. I won’t go so far as to guarantee it — baseball is a weird game — but I’m confident that Seattle will hold onto Felix through at least 2013.

The first and most obvious reason for Seattle holding onto Felix is his ability. Whether or not you think he deserved the AL Cy Young Award, he is still a top five pitcher. He’s probably a top three pitcher. In the past two seasons he’s shown improvements in both his strikeout and walk rates, and now has the lethal combination of 8-plus strikeouts per nine and a 50-percent-plus ground ball rate. Only four pitchers in the majors accomplished this in 2010. Oh, and he’s only 25 years old. It would take quite the set of circumstances for any team to consider trading such an elite young pitcher.

Considering his performance and service time, Seattle has Felix signed to a team-friendly contract. After the 2010 season Felix has five years of service time, meaning he’d have been a free agent after the 2011 season had he not signed an extension. What kind of contract would Felix command if he hit the free agent market as a 26-year-old? I imagine he might have become the first $200 million pitcher. Yet he signed an extension with Seattle that covers five years and pays him $78 million. That will cost the Mariners just $10 million in 2011 before it jumps to $18.5 million in 2012 and gets to $20 million in 2014. He is the consummate bargain, even at $20 million annually.

Seattle can easily afford this contract. They’re not the Marlins; they’re not the Pirates; they’re not the Indians. They play in a fairly robust market and can certainly afford to keep elite players under contract. Their payroll is actually a bit down now, $91 million in 2010 after approaching $120 million in 2008. Furthermore, they have few large commitments in the future. The 2012 payroll has just $54 million committed, mostly to Felix and Ichiro, and after that their only big obligation belongs to Felix. Why, then, would they trade an elite pitcher? They can clearly afford him.

At this point we can turn to Zack Greinke to answer the previous question. The Royals could afford to keep him, but instead traded him to the Brewers. Kansas City is a bottom dwelling team, but has a big set of eyes on the future. Their farm system ranks as the best in baseball by no small measure, and they could start seeing those players pay off in 2012. Even then, it’s tough to expect a crop of 20- and 21-year-olds to bring a team into contention. The more realistic impact year is 2013, and at that point Greinke would have been a free agent. Trading him now, then, theoretically provides Kansas City with the best return, since they’re providing two years of Greinke at a below market rate. This is not the same situation Seattle faces.

Yes, the Seattle offense was historically bad in 2010 — often bad enough to negate the benefits that Felix brought. But this won’t always be the case. As with the Royals, the Mariners will rebuild. They might not have the same caliber system, but it still has a few strong prospects at the top. In June they’ll draft second overall, and they figure to have another decent pick in 2012. This will help them reload the system. Given their current young talent, their talent on the farm, and the talent they can afford on the free agent market, I imagine that Seattle will be back in the contention conversation before 2014. If they plan to contend before then, they have even less of a reason to trade Felix.

Let’s just imagine for a moment that Seattle’s target contention year is 2014, the final year of Felix’s contract. Might they then decide to trade him and fortify the team for a run that year? Again, I don’t think so. No player they can acquire will provide the impact that Felix himself can. They might be able to shore up multiple parts, but they’ll be left weaker at starting pitcher. That brings me to the final point: Seattle can, in all likelihood, sign Felix to a mega deal once he hits free agency, or perhaps before. He’ll be just 29 at the time, so he’ll probably be in line for a Sabathia-like deal if the current baseball economic structure holds up. Why wouldn’t Seattle give it to him? In fact, if they didn’t I’d suspect that they know something that we don’t, and are holding off on a big offer for that reason.

When an opportunity arises to trade for a pitcher of Hernandez’s age and ability, any team will jump all over it. They might even empty the farm. It would be a justifiable move. But there’s a reason that pitchers of Hernandez’s age and ability typically do not become available in trades. Seattle has little reason to trade him. Maybe if they catch a few terrible breaks he’ll become available in a couple of years. But right now the team simply has no reason to trade him. I’d love to see him in Yankee pinstripes as much as the next guy. But let’s be realistic. It’s just not happening.

Categories : Hot Stove League
  • Yank the Frank

    Also Seattle screwed us by not going through with the Lee deal over the summer. If Lee pitched in NY and soaked up that atmosphere for a few months he may have preferred us to the Phillies. But I’m not bitter…

    • http://twitter.com/JoeySportstalk JoeyH

      You still honestly feel they “screwed” us? I mean, in theory theres as much of a chance that he could have left NY as he could of soaked it up.

      • RL

        Yeah. Look at how much soaking up the atmosphere in TX helped them out with Lee. Not that TX is the same as NY, but you can’t be sure there’d be a better chance he’d sign with NY if he played here.

        • Chris

          It’s safe to assume that the chances would be better. Maybe he still goes to Philly, but the odds of him resigning with the Yankees would be higher if he had been traded.

          In particular, if the Yankees had won the World Series with him, I don’t think I could see him leave to go somewhere else.

          • Ted Nelson

            He did pitch in Texas and they did go to the World Series… he still left to take less money in Philly.

    • pete

      Eh, considering the fact that he didn’t sign with us afterwords and seems to love Philly (I remember reading about him being pissed about getting traded to Seattle), plus how Montero went on to perform after the non-trade, and how high I am on Adams, I’m pretty happy they didn’t make that trade. It’s a trade you have to say yes to at the time (Adams injured, Montero not performing, AJ and Hughes struggling, Javy having struggled earlier, Andy being old) if you’re the Yankees, but I’m pretty happy they didn’t.

      • RabidYankee

        What’s with the prospect huggers?

        Are you happy the Yankees didn’t win the world series last year? I think there’s a great chance they would’ve won it last year had the trade went through and a much better chance he signs with NY too.

        Now you’re happy about Montero and Adams? What about that state of our rotation?? Do you honestly think this is a World Series caliber team?

        Take Montero, Adams, Nova, Betances, any pretty much everyone else to give Seattle an offer they can’t refuse.

        I’d rather try winning 3 or 4 in a row instead of hoping that someday down the line our beloved prospects pan out.

        What are we the Royals or the Yankees??

        • The Fallen Phoenix

          Yes, we honestly believe this is a World Series caliber team.

          • jsbrendog (returns)

            +1

          • RabidYankee

            Last year the offense couldn’t hit mediocre Ranger pitching and the rotation (CC included) struggled in the playoffs.

            Now possibly losing Pettitte, being one year older, is a WS caliber team? On what planet?

            I think they can make the playoffs, but they’re going to need to pick some pieces up either now or at the trade deadline to become a WS team.

            Enough of the prospect hugging, it’s time to get serious.

            • pete

              1. The offense struggling against the Rangers in five of six games last year means absolutely nothing going forward. That is nothing close to a projectable sample size (not to mention the fact that Cliff Lee would have done absolutely nothing to help the offense in last year’s postseason). The yankees had the best offense in baseball last year. They’ll likely have the best offense in baseball this year, too, since they didn’t lose any offensive players, and will likely be replacing a great deal of Cervelli’s non-production with Montero (whose absence would be felt on offense this year had he been traded for three months of Cliff Lee).

              2. If they can make the playoffs, they are a WS caliber team. Didn’t the Giants prove that last year? Or the ’08 iteration of the Phillies? Or the 2007 Rockies? Or the 2006 Cardinals? Or the 2000 Yankees? Or every other team that has won the world series despite being the 7th or 8th best all-around team heading into the playoffs? Just as past playoff series hold no predictive value due to being minuscule sample sizes, there’s pretty much nothing that holds predictive value going into a playoff series, because there aren’t enough games for probabilities to properly assert themselves.

              3. Enough of the prospect hugging, it’s time to get serious.

              Oooh you mean like they did in the ’80s? I think you need to just come to terms with the fact that teams need to rely on prospects sometimes if they plan on sustaining success, and that it is simply not possible to be the hands-down WS favorite every single god damn year, no matter what your payroll is. Free agent classes and trade markets can fluctuate a great deal, and this year, outside of Cliff Lee, was not a good year for either.

            • OldYanksFan

              Anyone have some rabies vaccine?

        • All Praise Be To Mo

          Is this George Steinbrenner circa early 1980’s reincarnated?

        • http://Yesnetwork.com gmrich

          You my friend are an idiot, just like George Steinbrenner, let’s trade the farm for someone who might not like being in New York, give everybody up, bring in that hasbeen Russell Martin to catch, and watch him flouner, with no one behind him, just like the idiot George Steinbrenner, let bring in Cliff Lee, a mediocre pitcher at best, trade for Felix Hernandez, and it turns out he hates New York, and leaves, listen dummies, before Idiot George, the Yankees had dynasties in the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and the early sixties, why because they had a great minor league system, with great players in it, they allowed them to come up and become great, unlike idot George, who traded them away and got nothing in return exept a washed up hasbeen, remember Bob Sykes for willie McGee, what happened with Sykes, he blew his arm out, and Willie McGee had a very good career, so give the prospects a chance, in 2 or 3 years they could become very good players and help the Yankees win years to come.

          • pete

            I agree that the yankees should not re-enact their 1980s GS-led counterparts, but nobody who says Cliff Lee is “a mediocre pitcher at best) should ever call anybody an idiot. Ever. If Lee is not in the top 5 pitchers in the game right now, he is easily in the top 10.

            • Louis

              He’s easily a top 5

          • Cuso

            Yeah the 1980’s George is not something we wan to revisit, but as far as Yankee Dynasties of the past having been homegrown, that’s a bit naive.

            It’s pretty common knowledge that there was a Kansas City/NYC pipeline whereby we sent our aging veterans and the Athletics sent us their young stars and hot prospects.

            You can’t be calling people idiots and then saying Lee is a mediocre pitchers. Ease up on the vitriol.

        • Ted Nelson

          “I’d rather try winning 3 or 4 in a row”

          And having a core of great players like Jesus Montero is capable of being locked up on reasonable deals through their prime seasons is exactly the way you accomplish this.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

    Oh, and he’s only not quite 25 years old.

    He’ll be 25 in April. Felix is younger than Clay Buccholz and David Price, and is only a couple of months older than Phil Hughes. Heck, he’s younger than Andrew Brackman.

    The only 2010 Yankees younger than Felix were Hughes, Nunez, and Nova.

    • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

      *Buchholz

      ::still pining for the triumphant return of the edit button::

  • Mike

    Why don’t the Yankees go after Lowe or Wandy ?? both would be nice to have !

    • ultimate913

      Because their price tags are high and wont do well in NYS.

      • Mike

        I disagree . >Espcially Lowe . .He’s a big game pitcher and can handle the spotlight !. He’d be a nice veteran to have on our staff…

        He’s owed 35 million the next 3 seasons. If we could fork over some prospects and eat his salary . I think a deal could be made.

        • king of fruitless hypotheticals

          What makes you think the Braves want to move Lowe? They look like they’re trying to contend, and can they give away a guy of his quality?

        • http://Yesnetwork.com gmrich

          He is a washed up has been, give the prospects a chance, in 2 or 3 years they could help the Yankees win, and become a dynasty like they once were, before 1965.

      • OXXBOW

        Why would Wandy Rodriguez not do well in New York?

        • FIPster Doofus

          I like Wandy, but his home/road splits are cause for concern.

          • Cuso

            Maybe, but the home/road splits wouldn’t stop the Yanks from doing the deal if what Houston asked for was “doable.” if they didn’t have to give up Montero or any of the Bs, they would probably do it.

      • pete

        The only scenario in which I would like to see Lowe in a Yankee uni is if they
        A) don’t resign Pettitte,
        B) don’t have to trade anything more than Nunez + Nova or something like that for him, and
        C) don’t have to pay his full salary, or receive a discount on the trade if they do.

        I would not give up any of the following players in a trade wherein Lowe is the best player we’re getting back:

        Montero
        Banuelos
        Betances
        Brackman
        Sanchez
        Heathcott
        Noesi
        Phelps
        Mitchell
        Stoneburner
        Feliz
        Culver
        Mesa
        Gumbs

        • pete

          and Warren, Adams, Laird

    • Clay Bellinger

      Unfortunately, I recall Lowe pitching well in quite a big game in NY.

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        7 years ago.

        • Clay Bellinger

          The point stands. I’m sure his mindset has not changed. There is no doubt that he can pitch in big games. There are other factors that can be weighed into why he wouldn’t do well, such as age, but there is zero reason to believe that he couldn’t pitch in NY. Dude pitched in Boston, pretty big sports town.

          • pete

            i think the bigger point is that he couldn’t pitch in NY because he’s not very good at pitching any more, and swapping all those pitcher PAs with DH PAs would not help him.

            • Clay Bellinger

              Well now that’s a valid point. I’m not advocating trading for him, but a supposed inability to pitch in NY shouldn’t weigh into the decision.

  • YanksFan

    Great post. We should link to this next time someone mentions why he isn’t in pinstripes yet. That may be in 10 minutes, LOL.

    They have a reasonable payroll & owner’s willing to spend. They just need a GM to do the job fairly well.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      Another reason Felix isn’t in pinstripes is that he chose not to be.

      • jsbrendog (returns)

        this. he couldve said hell no to seattle, taken his lofty arb raises and bolted in 12 to the yanks but he didnt.

        • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

          I think Andy was referring to when he initially signed with Seattle as an IFA.

          • Johnny O

            I’ve read a few places (probably here) that he accepted less $ from Seattle as IFA than the Yankees offered him. Revisionist history: Felix signs with the Yankees and Gerritt Cole does too. *sigh*

            • Jonathan

              i’ll even add in prior because unless we brought him up as a reliever, Torre wouldn’t have Dustyed his arm. How much money do you think it would have taken for Kerry Wood to have gone to the Reds?

      • YanksFan

        Yeah, but for some reason that doesn’t want to stay in my memory. But he would’t be any good for us anyway since we can’t develop pitching.

        /sarcasm

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          Felix could be an excellent set-up man for Mo.

          • David

            Only if we could have gotten Grienke for teh seventh!!!11!!!

            • Andy In Sunny Daytona

              Both Felix and Greinke’s stuff is much better in the bullpen.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Well this is pretty stupid. He chose Seattle as a

        • Jimmy McNulty

          He chose Seattle as a 16 year old, it’s not hard to imagine why such a young kid would rather play in a market like Seattle as opposed to New York. He signed an 85 million deal which said more about how he feels towards risk aversion as opposed to how he feels about New York. He’s a young pitcher and he makes his money throwing a baseball. Signing the 85M extension was a smart move which basically made sure that he was set for life should he get hurt and not be able to cash in on a big deal. He didn’t so much choose Seattle over New York, he chose a lot of money right now as opposed to more money than he could ever dream of in 2012.

          • Ted Nelson

            He was a 16 year old kid from Venezuela with only so much chance of ever actually making the major leagues… I sort of doubt he weighed the quality of life in Seattle vs. NYC. I think it more likely had to do with who his handlers had connections to and who paid them off.

    • Ted Nelson

      Cashman doesn’t sign one pitcher and suddenly he’s the worst GM ever…

  • jsbrendog (returns)

    thank you.

    • pete

      that.

  • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

    It is not that hard. Have Yankee fans envision what kind of return they would want for Robbie and then ask yourself “Would I give that up for Felix?”.

    • pete

      Felix >>> Robbie.

      Not necessarily in annual production; my guess is that Felix will slightly out-produce Cano from here on out, if at all, but Cano’s only under contract until 2013. I don’t think the Mariners would even think twice about saying no to a Cano-Felix deal, straight up.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        I think on Fangraphs’ trade value series they ranked Cano slightly higher than Felix.

      • Jason

        The Mariners would not let the Yankees smell one of Felix the King’s farts for Robinson Cano. Think Cano, Montero, Betances, Nunez & Banuelos and they MIGHT be thinking hard about that.

        • Cuso

          Someone made this claim last week too. It was stupid then and it’s stupid now. Felix is great and not going anywhere, but Seattle would trade him in a hearbeat if HALF of the above listed deal was on the table. Yanks would NEVER offer that package for any TWO players from one team.

      • http://www.bronxbombersreport.com Craig

        I wouldn’t trade Robinson Cano for any pitcher in the game. Cano plays every day at an up-the-middle position.

        And he’s a pimp.

        • Jason

          Well thats about the only way that the Mariners GM listens to phone calls from Yankees brass. For a 24 year old legitimate ace with 4 years of a club control and a chance to be one of the better pitchers in the history of the game, the M’s are going to have to offer a LOOOOOOOOTTTTTTTTT. The Mariners have no reason to trade him, and would have to be absolutely blown away. Felix is kind of a pimp too. They aren’t exactly itching to move him. Montero Betances & Banuelos would only be a start.

  • Poopy Pants

    Felix is a badass.

  • A.D.

    If the Mariners were in the AL East, I’d probably say trade Felix for a bounty of prospects, but given the AL West is a little more wide open I can see holding onto him where they could have a chance to compete without a drastic team overhaul.

    • pete

      the AL West is a little more way, way, way more wide open

      ftfy

  • Jorge

    But what if we give them Brackman, Banuelos, Montero, Hughes, Joba, Swisher, the rights to uniform #21, and Hank Steinbrenner? We cannot win without Felix…..or something of that sort.

    • RL

      Remove Hank and it’s a deal!! (Unless some of the family money comes along with him.)

    • pete

      the rights to uniform #21

      I laughed.

    • http://Yesnetwork.com gmrich

      You are an idiot, I think the Yankees can win next year without Felix, Cliff Lee, or any other bum that you can think of, Nova pitched great in winter baseball, he looked good in his starts last year, but for the manager trying to win now, and not allowing the kid to gain confidence, he might have been what the Yankees needed, not AJ Burnett, or Javier Vasquez, but you are like idiot George Steinbrenner, so let’s give the farm for Felix Hernandez, but what happens if King Felix hates New York, what if he turns into a Carl Pavano, or AJ Burnett, or better yet a Javier Vasquez, then you will want to fire Cashman, and get ride the other front office people, you people are not patient, I am, I want to see the Montero’s, the Nova’s, the Brackmans, and the other prospects grow with the Yankees and help them win championships.

      • thenamestsam

        Woosh!!! That’s the sound it makes when it sails over your head.

  • Clay Bellinger

    Not that it matters much, but his salaries are slightly higher than noted in the article. 11 in ’11, 19 in ’12, 20 in ’13, 20.5 in ’14. They increase because he won the Cy Young. In in all, he’s owed 70.5 mil for the remainder on the deal. As Joe said, he’ll most likely be quite a bargain considering how good he’s become and at 11 mil in 2011 Seattle has no reason to rush and trade him. When do they expect to contend again though? They owe him almost 60 mil for the remaining three years and, although he’ll probrably be worth more than that, do they really want to pay such a large salary to one highly desireable player on a losing team?

    • RustyJohn

      2012 would be my guess- they have a lot of money coming off the books after this year- $13 million from Milton Bradley, 5 1/2 million they are paying to the Cubs for Silva, $1 million for Betancourt, $5 million dropping off from Jack Wilson, they’ll trade Aardsma at some point and save $5 million…their 2012 payroll obligations are like $50 million leaving them $40-$50 million to play with.

      At that point they should have an idea if Smoak, Ackley, whoever the hell their left fielder is, etc pan out. My guess is that if the M’s aren’t contenders at the end of 2012, bye bye Felix.

  • http://twitter.com/JoeySportstalk JoeyH

    I started disagreeing when you said his contract is a reason for seattle to keep him. Not at all. He will be amongst the highest paid pitchers in the league in the coming years.

    • king of fruitless hypotheticals

      Just not this year. And the way these contracts seem to be heading, he may not be at the beginning of next year either.

      And even then, he will be amongst the best pitchers in the league in the coming years.

    • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

      What he means is that for the pitcher Felix is, 18-20 Million a year is do-able. On the open market, he’d get 25, perhaps 30 million per.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joe Pawlikowski

      But if he’s among the best pitchers, then being among the highest paid makes sense. Especially for a team that can afford him.

    • debevemos

      Yes, he will be among the highest paid, but not the highest paid pitcher. Hernandez would easily be a $25 million a year or more pitcher if he went to free agency. He is the most valuable pitcher in baseball at this time based on his age and performance.

      Getting the most dominant young arm in MLB for an average of less than $18 million per year is a very good reason to hold onto him.

  • Reggie C.

    Helps having Franklyn Gutierrez roam the outfield snagging every fly in the park.

    Seriously though, Felix wearing pinstripes is a pipedream that to keep pondering over is straight up unhealthy.

    • pete

      It also doesn’t help having Kotchman, Figgins, Wilson, Lopez, and their collective -8 UZR fielding the grounders you’re shelling out at an over-50% rate.

    • Jess

      People jumped off the Franklin Gutierrez boat. Yeah, it’s nice he catches everything, but he forgot how to hit. Hss OPS was 130 points lower than Granderson.

  • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

    This question shouldn’t even have to be asked.

  • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

    He’ll be just 29 at the time, so he’ll probably be in line for a Sabathia-like deal if the current baseball economic structure holds up…

    Through CC’s first 6 seasons, he was worth 23.4 wins. Felix was worth 27.2, and Felix was 2 years younger when we broke in. I don’t know, but I wouldn’t be all surprised if Felix were to get 200 Million if he hit Free Agency.

    • Chris

      The only issue is the amount of innings on Felix’s arm. If he maintains (or improves) his performance, then he’ll get a ton of money, but it at least as likely that he’ll break down and get injured.

      • debevemos

        His no-trade clause is said to have the 10 biggest market teams on it. This is thought to be a move that would allow him to capitalize and demand more from one of those teams should he be traded there. I don’t think many smaller market teams would be able to afford what he’s going to cost in the future anyways.

  • mike c

    Felix’s deal is cheap for the next couple years too. They could hold onto him for 2 years and still get a king’s ransom for him too

    • Clay Bellinger

      How is it “cheap”?

      • mike c

        He’s owed 10mm next year and then close to 60 over the last 3 years of the deal

        • Clay Bellinger

          Yes, he’s owed 11 mil next year…so he’s cheap for one year.

  • pat

    Sad that you had to write this.

    • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

      I heard that the next post will go into detail of why those persistent rumors of A-Rod having a pet unicorn can not possibly be true.

      • jsbrendog (returns)

        i heard the next post is about how teixeira isn’t going to play 3b

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    After this post, I think “Felix” should be put in the spam filter. Any comment that utters Felix is automatically deleted. And if it’s about Felix Heredia or Felix Jose, screw em.

    • http://twitter.com/bryanl26 Bryan L

      Felix Rodriguez?

      • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

        Felix Escalona?

      • Andrew

        So want you’re trying to tell me is that the Mariners won’t take Joba for Felix?

  • NYCOUG

    As a resident of Seattle I don’t see this trade happening at all. The Mariners front office is pretty hated around here right about now and I think the fans would tar and feather them if they traded Felix. Especially to the Yanks. That Russ Davis/Sterling Hitchcock trade still isn’t too popular around here!

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      seriously? id be more concerned with the heathcliff slocumb deal….

  • roadrider

    A very well-reasoned post but then again who thought Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Cliff Lee (twice) would be traded in the same 12-month period? If the Yankees are planning on getting Hernandez that would be foolish. But they should definitely keep tabs on the situation since anything can happen. The Mariners could get even worse and ownership could decide to blow up the roster, Hernandez could demand a trade, Joe Girardi could lose his fascination with LOOGYs and pinch-runners (OK, that last one is clearly impossible) …

    My preference is “the kids are allright approach” – let Nova have his shot, see what the Killer Bs show in AA and AAA in the first half and promote them as soon as they’re ready instead of wasting innings on the likes of Mitre and whomever this years’ Gaudin and Moseley equivalents turn out to be.

    • jsbrendog (returns)

      all over 30. felix = 26.

      biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig difference

    • OldYanksFan

      Felix is a God, but trading for him would set our farm back 5 years. Just imagine what he would cost. 5 of our top 10 prospects? More? Scary!

  • Yanko

    Does he not have a no-trade to the Yankees?

    • ultimate913

      Yes. Word is, that he has the top market teams on his no-trade clause. So that if/when one tries to trade for him, on top of trading players for him, they’d have to sweeten the deal for him. Like an extension or paying him to waive his NTC.

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      Those are usually meaningless (and a way to negotiate for more money). Greinke had a no-trade to the Brewers as well.

  • Preston

    I actually think it would make sense for the M’s to trade Felix. They are terrible and with his contract, age, ability and the shortage of elite level pitchers they could get a ridiculous return for him. I think trading Felix would improve the M’s probably in the short and long term. There are three major problems though.

    1. The M’s are still making money. It’s easy for the Marlin’s, Pirates, Royals and Rays to cut loose expensive players or move their top quality players for prospects, nobody is coming to the games anyway. The M’s won’t even move an aging, expensive Ichiro because they don’t want to damage their fan base. Why would they move a young reasonably priced dominant player.

    2. It’s already been said but it’s worth repeating the AL West is not good, one crazy productive season from Russel Branyan almost put them in playoff contention 2009. If Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley can come up and be above average offensive players at 1B and 2B and they can find one additional bat (A Milton Bradley resurgence?) this team could contend immediately.

    3. Nobody in the AL wants to trade with the Yankees. The Twins asked for Phil Hughes and Robinson Cano for Johan Santana and traded him to the Mets for basically Carlos Gomez and Phil Humber. Think about how masochistic that looks three years later. The Blue Jays did the same with Roy Halladay, ditto Royals with Zach Grienke. They all asked for insane packages from the Yanks and then shipped them to the NL for inferior prospects. So even if the M’s do trade Felix he’ll probably go to an NL team.

    • ultimate913

      3 is what really gets to me. But I guess it’s okay, since the Yanks have unlimited financial resources.

    • Clay Bellinger

      I think that it makes sense for them to hang onto him for now. 11 mil next year won’t be all that much. I can see a scenario where he’d become available though. If they are extremely bad this year and the M’s face a situation where the club clearly won’t be able to contend until say 2013 or 2014, how could they not at least listen to offers? It seem irresponsible to pay 20 mil a year for someone, even as dominant as Felix, when you’re not a contender. If they can pull in a king’s ransom type of package that could help the club compete in 2014, while saving on salary in the meantime, they’d have to at least consider dealing him.

      Of course this is all extremely unlikely, especially in a weak division like the AL West, but not out of the realm of possibility.

  • Mackeyse

    hate to criticize this post but any half way knowledgeable fan worth their salt would know the answer to “why yanks won’t get Felix” ( or wouldn’t dare bring it up). we aren’t dummies RAB!!! could have really done without this one…maybe follow up with why we won’t get Troy T or David price??? sometimes the best update to RAB is no update.

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

      No one is forcing you to read their totally free content, get over it

      • shawn

        RAB’s loyal bodyguard to the rescue!!! my hero…and I suppose Joe’s too.

        • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com bexarama

          Nah, I’m just a sheeplike groupthinker, obviously.

          • Esteban

            Yea you numbnuts ponytail wearer!

      • Johnny O

        That. Plus if you read comments and/or chats on RAB, people DO in fact suggest trades for King Felix somewhat frequently.

    • Esteban

      Did you miss the part of the post where it says:

      The No. 1 question we receive every day is some variant of, why don’t the Yankees trade for Felix Hernandez, or the Yankees should trade the farm for Felix.

      It is pretty hard to read all the way through the first sentence, I know.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      any half way knowledgeable fan worth their salt would know the answer to “why yanks won’t get Felix” ( or wouldn’t dare bring it up).

      Did you read the post, or just the headline?

      Because the very first sentence states that “The No. 1 question we receive every day is some variant of, why don’t the Yankees trade for Felix Hernandez, or the Yankees should trade the farm for Felix.”

  • Preston

    This off-season RAB has basically done a post entertaining almost every possible pitcher the Yankees might inquire on. So doing one on why Felix probably won’t be acquired seems pretty natural. Plus I think every Yankee fan has considered what it would take to pry Felix away from the M’s. But Brian Cashman said in an interview that he’s made the phone call and been told no. So for now that’s the end of it…

    So time to move on to speculating about other pitchers we won’t acquire. Like everyone on the White Sox staff. Everyone keeps saying we don’t match up but I think we have exactly what Kenny Williams is looking for. He likes to trade young talented pitchers like Matt Latos and Daniel Hudson and he likes to pick up over-paid under performing players like Alex Rios, Manny Ramirez, Edwin Jackson and Jake Peavy. Plus they have a vacancy at third… A-Rod for John Danks, we’ll take Mark Beurhle as a throw in to offset salary, then we’ll sign Adrian Beltre to play third. Sounds like a Kenny Williams deal to me.

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

      A-Rod will never be traded. There’s a billion reasons for this.

      • Preston

        There is really just one reason A-Rod will NEVER be traded, his contract. Thanks Hank. There are a lot of other reasons why he probably won’t be traded but the money is the only reason it’s completely impossible.

        • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

          Oh, so he’s not one of the greatest players of all, he’s not going to break the HR and RBI record, he’s not going to get 3000 hits, he’s not such an asset that trading him is suicide, he’s just… overpaid.

          Great rationalization.

          • Preston

            I’m not saying he isn’t great. It’s just a terrible contract. If he was a great player with a contract to match we could easily trade him. Not saying we would, but we could. I think he’ll have a great year this year, and I love watching the guy play. But .270/.340 with average defense at 34 doesn’t make me all that excited to see what kind of return we get for our money when he’s 40, 41, and 42. And no he’s not such an asset that trading him is suicide…

  • Scott

    hey, so i read the article and the thing is, other than Felix, whats the Mariners rotation? That’s right no one can really say. I live in Seattle Joe and honestly the Yanks AAA could beat this Mariners big league club. It would be in the best interests for the Mariners to give up one ace and receive a farm full of prospects and some major league ready players than to win A game every cycle through the rotation.

    • thenamestsam

      Well this is a different question, and perhaps a more interesting one. They’re not going to trade him, but should they? What if the Yankees did offer something like Hughes, Montero, all of the Killer Bs, Phelps, Noesi, Warren, Laird, and Sanchez. I actually think this might be a good deal for Seattle.
      Once again, so you don’t have to flame me, I realize they wouldn’t do it, but they’re not going to contend this year, and by the next year I this package might be providing equal value. Obviously there’s little chance that anyone you get back ends up being as good as Felix, but Hughes’ production is going to make up for some of that, and for a team that needs a ton of help, you might have just gotten an entire young, talented, arb-eligible rotation and 3 solid to excellent hitting prospects. In fact, that might be too much to offer. Has there ever been a 10 prospects for 1 guy trade before?

      Now at that point, where you’re going from a top-10 system to the worst in baseball all in exchange for 1 player, I don’t know if the Yankees could make that trade. I think the thing the article doesn’t point out and is maybe the biggest reason they won’t trade him is because they have little reason to do it now. They can get a similar haul for him in a year if they don’t seem any closer to contention

      • camilo Gerardo

        9 for 1, really? no GM would give up 9 prospects. it’s career suicide

  • YankeesPacificNW

    You may not realize just how bitter Seattle is over “stuff.” They really have a hard time (the fan base) getting over stuff, like Arod leaving for Texas. When Arod left Texas for New York, the fans were livid. Why? He was no longer their guy. The Lee deal showed just how skewed Seattle is about New York. I personally think they would go out and make a mega deal just to keep from sending someone to NYY. They showed that they behave without honor when they played Tricky Dick with the Yankees over Lee in the trade to Texas. I wouldn’t expect much better over Felix. Funny, too, because even with Lee, Texas bombed in the WS.

  • http://Yesnetwork.com gmrich

    I think it was good for the Yankees to not sign Cliff Lee, because to me Cliff Lee is a mediocre pitcher at best, I don’t think Cliff Lee wanted the pressure of pitching for the Yankees, who knows he might have been a shrinking violet, another Pavano, Burnett, or Vasquez, Cliff Lee could only beat one team, the Yankees, he couldn’t beat too many other teams, it is good he is in Philadelphia, because now he will be a 4th starter behind Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt, so there is no pressure on him, like in Texas last year, he wants to be in a low pressure situation, it is good for the Yankees, the Yankees should be patient and let the young kids learn and grow, that’s how to build a dynasty, the Yankees did build a dynasty from the 1920’s to the early 1960’s, by giving their young players a chance to learn and grow, that’s how you win, not buying players, and trading prospects, be patient, the yankees will win again soon.

    • pete

      Cliff Lee >>>>>>>>> Pavano, Burnett, and Vazquez. And, like, almost every other pitcher.

  • http://Yesnetwork.com gmrich

    I don’t think trading the farm for Felix Hernandez, because he might turn out to hate New York, he might not be able to handle the pressure of pitching for the Yankees, he might turn out to be another Pavano, or Vasquez, but if you allow some of the prospects to learn in the major leagues they could turn out to be what the Yankees need, Ivan Nova pitched great in winter ball this year, if given a chance he could be the type of starter the Yankees need, he needs a chance to grow and learn, the Yankees need to be patient, and not go crazy because they didn’t get Lee, or Hernandez, and trade the farm for some washed up bum, just let the young players come up and play, learn, and grow, and you people should stop acting like a bunch of idiots.

    • camilo Gerardo

      and let him pitch out of trouble, no?

  • wow

    Maybe the trade won’t happen; hopefully it does.

    The question then is: who do the Yankees turn to? Obviously, they have a good farm, but this team and FO just doesn’t operate like that. It’s part of being a big market team. Your biggest asset is cash, so they use it, and use it well for that matter. Now, the team is in a bad spot. Money won’t buy them an ace, only the trade. The current rotation does not add up in the AL East and the AL Central could very well contain the AL wildcard team.

    Given the BoSux’s improvements, I don’t think the Yankees can keep the current rotation and hope that a big deal at the trade deadline will put them back in the race. The risk is too high for a FO that defines success by reaching (and winning) the WS.

    My opinion, all trades should be considered. Because relying on CC, improvements from Hughes, a huge bounceback year for AJ, and break out years for the 4 and 5 starters represents too much risk for the organization. Not just baseball risk, but business risk.

    The Yankees will compete, they always do. They aren’t a 3rd place team. But I’m sure Cashman realizes the risk involved in the current rotation. I’m sure he will make a significant move, and his name doesn’t need to rhyme with Helix Fernandez.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Joe, I like your stuff usually but you’re way off here. First off with this:

    The Royals could afford to keep him, but instead traded him to the Brewers. Kansas City is a bottom dwelling team, but has a big set of eyes on the future. Their farm system ranks as the best in baseball by no small measure, and they could start seeing those players pay off in 2012. Even then, it’s tough to expect a crop of 20- and 21-year-olds to bring a team into contention.

    Seattle is pretty much the exact same team with a smarter general manager and a farm system that’s miles worse. Who is in Seattle’s rotation aside from Felix Hernandez? What’s their lineup? Ichiro! and hope that Smoak becomes a good hitter that everyone thinks he is? Baseball’s a weird game, you’re right…but honestly, the Mariners are behind the large market Angels who can spend their way into contention if Tony Reagains can stop being dumb and the talent machine that is the Texas Rangers…do you really think their odds of competing in 2014 are all that good? I mean, it can happen…but their farm is a ways off and the offense is miles away from competing. Which brings me to this:

    Yes, the Seattle offense was historically bad in 2010 — often bad enough to negate the benefits that Felix brought. But this won’t always be the case.

    Yes, Kansas City’s offense was pretty bad too. However, they have elite prospects like Myers, Moustakas, and Hosmer coming up that should contribute shortly. Who does Seattle have? Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak? Great, an overrated powerless prospect going into a big park and a guy who hasn’t really contributed at the big league level yet, nor has he shown signs that he can or will. Both players got rave scouting reports, and both are still young enough to turn things around…but those are Seattle’s best young players, them and Pineda. The Royals have four pitchers that I would consider to be as good if not better than Pineda. The Royals’ farm is a lot closer than the M’s.

    Yes, you’re right, a lot can change between now and 2014. While Jack Z’s major league track record as a GM has been decidedly mediocre, he has a good pedigree as a talent evaluator and he’s certainly capable of putting together a good draft or two and restocking that farm system. There’s also the possibility that all the HSers he drafts have the typical HS to majors problems (e.g. command, contact, injuries, etc.) and they end up busting. You said that you think they’d keep Felix to 2013, I disagree. If they suck as I expect them to in 2011 and if Smoak doesn’t start hitting and the draft class doesn’t light the world on fire, I’m betting that by the deadline in 2012 we’ll hear grumblings about a Felix trade. Finally there’s this:

    No player they can acquire will provide the impact that Felix himself can.

    I disagree, and you’re missing the point. If Montero ends up being Mike Piazza pt. 2 then yes, he can provide the impact that Felix can. Furthermore, if they were to trade Felix now the Yankees would likely offer something ridiculous like Montero, The Bs, Romine, Heathcott, Adams, and Nunez. Now all those players won’t work out but if two or three of them do, the Mariners are better off than they were had they just kept Felix Hernandez. You closed with this:

    Maybe if they catch a few terrible breaks he’ll become available in a couple of years. But right now the team simply has no reason to trade him.

    They don’t need a few terrible breaks, just one or two bad ones or for the status quo to hold. The typical “right process, wrong results” types of moves would also put them in the position to trading Felix. Lastly, they do have a reason to trade Felix…if they can make their team better. No player on no team is untouchable. If a team can make themselves better in a trade then they should make that trade, I think Seattle can make a trade where they’d end up better that involves Felix.

    • Ted Nelson

      “Yankees would likely offer something ridiculous like Montero, The Bs, Romine, Heathcott, Adams, and Nunez.”

      If the Yankees offered EIGHT of their top prospects, the Mariners would most likely go for it. The problem is probably that the Mariners want something like that ridiculous package, and the Yankees don’t want to trade every prospect they have for one guy.

  • http://yesnetwork.com solamon

    trade for felix the mariners need offence and deffence if they talked to the mariners and say they need a starter there’s no need for one pitcher for the mariners so there best off getting like four players from the yankees

  • Jim Cavanaugh

    Yankees gotta do whatever it takes to make this happen, or else we are else we are going to experience 2008 all over again. Cashman (u awake buddy ?) should relentlessly go after Zduriencik and offer up a package centered around Montero, include Hughes if that’s what it takes and offer up a host of other minors to sweeten the deal. Otherwise a rotation featuring Sabathia and The Warning Track and Further Guys will make it a very long 2011 season, and not in a good way.

    I keep reading the Mariners wont trade King Felix, they won’t do this and they won’t do that. This is the same team that once traded Randy Johnson in his prime and Ken Freaking Griffey Jr. They will trade anybody, let’s get real here. Make it happen Cashman or watch us get smoked all year long because you sat around on your butt waiting for Cliff Lee.

    • Evan3457

      Ummmm….if you trade Hughes and Montero plus “a host” of prospects for Felix, then the rotation is:

      Felix, CC, AJ, Nova and Mitre, plus you’ve denuded the upper levels of the farm.

      Yes, Felix is 5 WAR better than Hughes, but you’ve still got two holes in the rotation in addition to AJ, and you’re out of resources available to trade for help.

  • Jack

    PLEASE STOP WITH THE STUPID TRADE PROPOSALS!!!! All Yank fans can hope for is that the Killer B’s grow up & pan out BIG Time.

  • http://hahaha godfather

    thanks for the laugh: seattle a contender by 2014? in what fkg universe? not even double cloning felix would enable that

  • Ted Nelson

    If they got enough in return of course Seattle would trade him.

    I don’t really see why you went about the article the way you did. Any player in baseball can be had at a price. It comes down to supply and demand. If the Yankees offered enough, the Mariners would trade him. If he was cheap enough the Yankees would trade for him. Since the trade is not happening, the Mariners are probably demanding more than the Yankees are willing to give.

  • jose m vazquez

    In the old days meaning the50s and 60s the Yankees would bring up one or two rookies every year then added an aging star from the Nationalleague somewhere along the way. This of course led to great success. We must start a new core that will last for years to come. That means giving our young prospects a chance to play.