On the same day Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez relayed a definitive desire to remain in Seattle, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik delivered a definitive “no” when asked if the Mariners are considering trading Hernandez before the July 31 trade deadline.
During the American League’s media session, Hernandez again pledged his intention to serve out the remaining two-plus years of his contract with Seattle. He is in the third year of a five-year, $80 million contract.
“First of all, it’s not my decision, ” Hernandez said, according to The Seattle Times. “I don’t think they’re going to trade me. I like Seattle, and I want to help the Seattle Mariners win a World Series.”
“I have two more years. I want to stay here,” he added.
Later in the day, Zduriencik told CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman that the Mariners will not trade their ace, even though they are stuck in the cellar of the AL West and sit 16.5 games behind the Texas Rangers.
“He ain’t going anywhere,” Zduriencik said.
Later, he added: ”Who’s going to give me what I’d need to get for him? You’re always going to be looking for him if you don’t have him. We’re going to enjoy Felix Hernandez in a Mariners uniform. We love him. And he loves the Mariners.”
Hernandez, now a three-time All-Star, is 6-5 with a 3.13 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 123 2/3 innings this season. Last Friday, SI’s Tom Verducci argued that the Mariners should consider trading Hernandez because he is at his peak value now, and the Mariners likely will not contend with the Rangers and Los Angeles Angels over the next two years. From Verducci’s piece:
The idea of trading Hernandez should be considered only because the Mariners are so bad — they are on track to post the franchise’s worst batting average for a third straight year – that they are more than two years behind loaded division rivals Texas and Los Angeles. In other words, they can’t close the talent gap during the remainder of Hernandez’s contract.