Free Agent Watch: Squee! Mariners Extend Felix Hernandez

They lop off the remaining two years of the deal (2013, 2014, $20 million per) and they tack on 7 years at $25 million per (running through the end of the 2019 season, for a total of $175 million).

This isn’t Josh Hamilton.  This isn’t Nick Swisher.  This isn’t Michael Bourn or Justin Upton or whoever the hell else is out there (or was out there).

This is better.

This doesn’t solve our current need for another starting pitcher for 2013.  This doesn’t automatically make our minor league pitching studs ready for prime time.  In fact, this really doesn’t change a thing about the 2013 team whatsoever!

But, this is still the greatest thing, by far, the Seattle Mariners have accomplished in their pre-2013 offseason.  Fret not, I’m planning to blow it all out with a Season Preview in the next week or so, so I’ll try to not completely spoil my appetite on this topic.  But, when you’re talking about the best moves of an offseason, and at the top of the list is a guy you traded for (Morales) who is only on a 1-year deal … and by moving a starting pitcher (Vargas), you might have actually hurt your team as much as you just helped it … I would say that offseason deserves a big, fat F.

With Felix in the fold for an additional five seasons on top of the two seasons we originally had him, it turns a nothing-offseason into a something-offseason.  We’re looking at like a C-minus.

When I know more about where the last remaining big free agents end up (and when we finally see what the Mariners plan to do about the back-end of their rotation that isn’t Hector Noesi), I’ll come back with a full preview.  Until then:  REJOICE!  Felix is here, he isn’t going anywhere!

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