Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez’s contract expires after next season, but he doesn’t expect it to be his last deal. “Oh yeah, I’ve got more years to play. I’m not going to retire,” Hernandez told Jon Heyman of Fancred, adding that he has an affinity for Seattle and would like to continue his career in the only major league city he has ever called home. Whether the Mariners feel similarly is up in the air, as Hernandez has fallen off in recent seasons since inking a seven-year, $175MM extension prior to the 2014 campaign. Hernandez was among the game’s best starters then, but he’s now sporting a career-worst 5.11 ERA over 100 1/3 innings in his age-32 season.
More on a couple other AL teams:
- Tigers center fielder Leonys Martin is headed to the 10-day disabled list, Jason Beck of MLB.com tweets. Martin departed Detroit’s game on Sunday with a left hamstring cramp – a similar injury to the one that sent him to the DL in early May. Hamstring troubles aside, Martin has been a solid contributor for the Tigers this year, having hit .257/.327/.431 with nine home runs and 2.2 fWAR over 303 plate appearances. The 30-year-old looks like a logical trade candidate as a result, as MLBTR’s Jeff Todd wrote this week, but that’s up in the air given Martin’s health issues.
- Injured right-hander Garrett Richards could return to the Angels’ rotation as early as Wednesday, per Ian Quillen of MLB.com. Richards went to the DL on June 15 with a left hamstring strain, and he’s among a slew of injured Angels pitchers who are currently on the shelf. Thanks in part to their host of injuries, the Halos are amid a slide in which they’ve fallen to 11 1/2 games behind AL West-leading Houston and 10 1/2 back of a wild-card spot. The 30-year-old Richards, a pending free agent, did his best to keep the Halos in the hunt before going on the DL, as he recorded a 3.42 ERA with 10.27 K/9, 4.21 BB/9 and a 50 percent groundball rate over 68 1/3 innings.
- Although 39-year-old Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez is struggling, the fact that this may be his last season means manager Ron Gardenhire will continue to give him opportunities (via Evan Woodbery of MLive.com). “We all know what’s going on with him. It’s the last year of his contract,” Gardenhire said. “Right now he feels really good, he’s feeling great, so we’re letting him play. We’ll get him more breaks as we go along. But like I said, if this is his swan song, or whatever you want to call it, I’m going to make sure he gets as many opportunities as he needs here as we go along. Hopefully he’ll keep having quality at-bats.” While Martinez has been an offensive standout for most of his career, he’s now in the throes of his third subpar season in the past four years, having batted a meager .238/.293/.321 with the majors’ fifth-worst ISO (.083) in 290 trips to the plate. He’s in the final season of a four-year, $68MM deal.