Felix Hernandez is off to another slow start and the so-called baseball experts, in this case Buster Olney of ESPN.com, is citing sources who say the Mariners ace looks distracted.
And just like that, everybody’s wondering whether the M’s ought to trade the player they signed to a five-year, $78 million extension in January of 2010, or keep him.
The Mariners lost 101 games a year ago and, while it’s still early, don’t appear to be a whole lot better this season. The lineup’s so weak that free-agent signee Adam Kennedy has been used at No. 4 and No. 5 in the batting order. That tells you all you need to know about the Mariners’ offense.
But back to Felix, who was Cy Young-like in his first start and so-so in his next three.
All of a sudden, the debate begins. Do you swap the 25-year-old ace for five or six prospects to jump-start a quick rebuilding process, or do you keep him?
Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik has gone on record since he arrived in 2009 that Felix isn’t going anywhere — not even for a load of prospects.
“That ain’t happening,” he said in spring training this year. “We’ve got (pitcher Michael Pineda coming, we’ve got some other pieces … he’s staying right here.”
What do you think they should do? Be patient and count on Felix and Pineda becoming the dominant 1-2 pitching punch in baseball.
Or do you trade Felix for some four or five quality players that you can put on your roster right now and get this thing turned around in a hurry.
Here’s what Buster Olney had to say on ESPN’s Mike & Mike Show today: