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Felix, Felix, Felix Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Posted by mrgenre in Mariners.
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As we approach the offseason essentially out of this year’s pennant race, and post-Ichiro record time, Felix will get to play in the limelight.  The first reason is the Cy Young race.  Most interesting is that writers are fighting over the chance to cover this year’s race, but only the National League portion.  However, according to this year’s Cy Young Predictor Seattle fans have a lot to get excited about.  Felix currently tops the “standings” according to ESPN and if he keeps things up at this pace, he may just finish with 18 wins with only Greinke challenging him in ERA (and let’s face it: KC’s assistance toward a 13-8 record leaves him well short of this award).

The only thorn in his proverbial paw could be Sabathia, whose Bombers have catapulted themselves to a possible 20 win season with CC on the mound, even if he hasn’t pitched at Felix’s level.  A Cy Young Award to a pitcher who might just win the World Series this year has to be tempting for sportswriters everywhere.  And with the M’s just a stone throw away from .500…

But what does it really matter?  If Felix had already inked a deal, you’d be hearing a little more about Cy other than just here.  And until he becomes a Mariner for the long-term, expect the Seattle media circus to downplay his shot (at least until he wins it, if he does).  So what does that mean?  And as many of you long-time Marination fans must be wondering, where do I stand on the signing of our young king?  Because let’s face it, he’ll certainly earn his royal bounty soon enough, even if it’s not out of Nintendo’s pocket.

I think that no matter what decision we come to, I have to echo an opinion I’ve heard infrequently over the last month: it has to happen now.  If we’re going to sign him long term, it needs to happen this offseason.  And if we can’t get it done on our terms, then we need to cash in.  I’ve heard many say that we need to cash in because he’s at his peak, or that spending that kind of money is an abomination.  I disagree with both reasons.  If he’s at his peak at 23, then I’m Ken Griffey Jr.  And while I’m in agreement with any notion that we shouldn’t offer him 6-10 years, I disagree about paying him what he’s worth.  Give him 20 million a season for all I care.  We can afford it if he’s holding our rotation together.  But please, please, please don’t give him more than 5 years.  4 would be even sweeter.  I don’t want another Zito or Hampton situation to happen anywhere, let alone Seattle.

Next up is why it has to happen this winter.  Because trading a guy this good, with 2 free years to whatever team wants him is basically forcing another team (or teams) to write us a blank check.  Did you see what they were offering Halladay for just a single year’s worth of contract?  Did you see what people gave us for Jarrod Washburn when everyone knew he was playing beyond his ability?  Just imagine what a team would pay for someone who not only has amazing potential, but is a Cy Young candidate without growth into that potential.  And he’s 23.  And he would have two full years left on his contract.  And he’s 23.  And he’s freaking amazing!

If Bavasi was still running things, I would be terrified at this trade prospect, but with Z at the reigns, I can only imagine what sort of team he might assemble if given a chip as big as Felix.  With that said, though, the thought of Felix pitching the next 15 years for some other franchise on his way to Cooperstown is absolutely heartbreaking.  I guess when it really comes down to it, as long as we do one or the other this winter (and no later), I’ll be happy with our future.

Go, M’s!

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