Felix Hernandez Forever: In Depth

With pitchers and catchers now in Peoria, and Felix officially in a Mariners uniform for the next seven years, it’s time to praise analyze the Mariners’ decision to sign Felix for $175 million dollars.

Felix Hernandez is a little happier now.

The King is a little bit happier now. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Felix will receive $19 million in 2013, (half a million less than he would have received if not for the new contract. Then he will receive $22 million in 2014, $24 million in 2015, $25 million in 2016, $26 million in both 2017 and 2018, and $27 million in 2019. There is a club option for $1 million in 2020 which can only be exercised if Felix severely injures his elbow and is on the DL for an extended period of time. Hernandez also received a $6 million signing bonus.

Any way you slice it, this a great deal for all three sides (the front office, Felix, and the fans). The front office is obviously happy because they don’t have to worry about one of the top three pitchers in baseball running away to free agency in 2015 for $200 million dollars, Felix is so happy he had tears in his eyes during the press conference, (but seriously, who wouldn’t be brought to tears by $175 million?), and the fans are happy because our favorite Mariner will be here for a long, long time. Additionally, haters will not say Felix is going to be traded to the Yankees, because there is a full no-trade clause built into the new contract.

Here’s why I like this contract:

  • Felix Hernandez is staying in Seattle
  • Felix Hernandez is staying in Seattle
  • God forbid if Felix gets hurt, he stays in Seattle another year

Whoops I forgot one…

  • Felix Hernandez is staying in Seattle

The Mariners should be incredibly happy because the have the most solid foundation an organization could ask for: a 27-year-old pitcher entering his prime.

If you didn’t know, Felix has improved remarkably over the past few seasons, and is likely not to slow down any time soon, making this deal even sweeter. Although his velocity has decreased somewhat over his career*, his strikeout per nine innings rate has risen every year since 2007, and is now at 8.65 K/9. He posted the best walk and homerun rate of his career in 2012, at 2.17 BB/9 and 0.54 HR/9 respectively. Hernandez’ FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) last year was the best of his career, coming it a diminutive 2.84. Felix is now pitching, instead of standing on the mound and throwing.**

Anyway, the M’s front office should be ecstatic they got The King locked up for seven years. He could have waited two years and made millions more.

Felix Hernandez obviously loves Seattle, and Seattle obviously loves him. With any luck, prospects will develop and a few bounces will go Seattle’s way, and will give this town a playoff appearance during Felix’s reign.

*His velocity has shown a gradual downward trend. His average fastball velocity has decreased about 4 MPH since 2007, from 96.3 to 92.4. However, he is throwing other pitches, such as his slider, cutter, and change-up, more often. Interestingly, last year, his fastball velocity increased as the season went on.

**He learned to pitch (rather than throw) a while ago, he is simply learning more.

About Josh Gibbs

Josh Gibbs is the mastermind behind baseballblaze. He's 16 years old and lives in Seattle. He's an avid Mariners and Seahawks fan. He hopes you likes this blog and thinks you should comment on every post he writes. He also wrote this bio in the third person because he's awesome.
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