Larry Stone of the Seattle Times says the Mariners are "believed to be exploring" a long-term deal with young ace Felix Hernandez. I’m wondering whether these talks have stagnated. The Mariners made an initial offer to Felix over a month ago.
It’s crazy to see that the Mariners first spotted Hernandez when he was 14. They eventually beat out the Braves, Yankees, Astros, Dodgers, and Rockies to get him. Felix turns 22 tomorrow; he’s already got 480 big league innings under his belt. He’s begun the ’08 season with 15 scoreless innings, which is reminiscent of his start a year ago.
The Mariners have to be slightly concerned that Hernandez will have a breakout ’08 and change his mind about giving up his three arbitration years at a reasonable price of $14-15MM. After all, Ryan Howard got $10MM for his first arb year alone.