It must be July because major news outlets are starting to write columns about how the Seattle Mariners should trade Felix Hernandez. That's a great idea. Why didn't I think of that? Seattle should trade their best player and keep the rebuilding process going forever. Brilliant. How about we put forth a different idea. How about we let the Mariners decide when they want to trade King Felix. At the moment, I don't think that is the plan.
A losing venture
Please tell me how this benefits the Mariners. Yes, columnists can come up with the standard package of prospects from the "big" clubs, but will that really offset the value of an ace? The last time I checked, true top-of-the-rotation pitchers do not grow on trees. Dominant pitchers are coveted and command large salaries for a reason. When a player actually develops into an ace, you do not immediately look for an opportunity to trade him away to the American League East.
I understand that someone like Ken Rosenthal is supposed to write this kind of article. However, I also get sick of this cycle in baseball. Rosenthal doesn't care if the Mariners are ever relevant. If Ken could cover the Yankees and Red Sox every year during the playoffs, he would be happy. He isn't interested in competitive balance or promoting a league where more than a few teams have a fighting chance. Still, I wish he'd write the truth. Baseball is designed to favor a handful of clubs.
Believing in the future
At some point a team like the Mariners should be allowed to keep their stars. How dare they, right? Why can't they just accept their role as farm system for the big market teams? Shame on Seattle for wanting to keep a relevant player for themselves. Don't they realize that Major League Baseball is not a democracy? What's next? A salary cap? Perish the thought. I love baseball, but I do get tired of this mentality that if you are a fan of a team like Seattle, you are always supposed to be looking 3-4 years down the road. When do the kids all grow up and get to play with a few established stars?
King Felix is ours, and we are going to keep him as long as possible. Leave him alone.
The author lives in Los Angeles, but grew up in Seattle and still roots faithfully for the Mariners even though they are sometimes frustrating to watch. He gets to Seattle whenever he can to see his M's. You can follow him on Twitter @tpheifer.
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