What to do with Felix Hernandez?

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Over the years Felix Hernandez has been one of the most dominant players in the game. Since coming in 2005 he has been sought after by many teams, but that wasn’t the case when scouts first laid their eyes on him. In fact King Felix never even made the draft. He was originally signed as non-drafted free agent in 2002 out of Valencia. To think that 29 other teams passed him up is absurd. Hernandez’s first two years in the minor proved great lengths why scouting is an important key to building a championship team. He went 21-6 while posting an outstanding winning percentage of .778. His next step was the majors and shortly after the all star break in 2005 the mariners saw their prize possession make his major league debut at a minuscule age of 19.

In his first couple of years as a pro he struggled mightily pitching around .500 ball, but the entire mariners’ organization and their fan base knew they had something special waiting in the horizon. The mariners didn’t have to wait much long because the following year Hernandez had his first winning record going 14-7 at the minimum drinking age (21). Two years after proving he could carry the load of the team he reached an even higher level setting career high in wins (19) innings (238.2) and ERA (2.49). Even though his numbers were phenomenal there were short of Cy young standards as another young star Zack Greinke took the honor home. Once again there wasn’t much wait for the king as he took home the award the next season. He dominated the league with a 2.27 ERA and even though his win total (13) was low he had the lowest run support in the American league coming from his offensively struggling team.

After winning the cy young award in 2009, mariner fans feared that Felix would wait it out until he was a free agent and try to cash in on the open market, but Hernandez remained faithful to the only team he had been with since he was 17. Shortly after the winter meetings in 2009, Felix and Seattle agreed upon a 5 year contract worth 78 million. It was the step in the right direction for a young struggling team securing their franchise player. When 2011 came around mariners were excited with the team they had surround with players such as second basemen Dustin Ackley and another promising pitcher Michael pineda. Their season reached a low point when they hit rock bottom with a 17 game losing streak and at this point the organization thought it was time to re evaluate their team and see how they were going in the future.

If you were the mariners’ front office what would you do? Would you continue building your players around King Felix, Dustin Ackley and Pineda? Waiting for players such as Justin smoak to develop into the power first basemen they thought they were getting when they traded cliff lee. Or would you rebuild from scratch by trading the king for top prospects that could help the team right away





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