(Felix Hernandez leads a running drill early in Mariners’ camp. Photo by Associated Press.)
Back in December, right after Cliff Lee shunned the Yankees to sign with Philadelphia, I posed the question of whether the Mariners should take advantage of New York desperation to listen to offers for Felix Hernandez. Not surprisingly, it stirred up considerable debate. A poll within the blog post elicited nearly 10,000 responses, with 63.76 percent saying it wouldn’t hurt to listen, while 36.24 percent said they didn’t want to trade Felix under any circumstances.
The Mariners fall squarely into the latter camp, which is all that really matters. In talking to Jon Heyman of SI.com on Monday, GM Jack Zduriencik said he has no plans to trade Hernandez. It’s a topic that’s probably not going to go away as long as the Yankees seemingly still have a need for a frontline starting pitcher to compete in the rugged AL East.
In following up with Zduriencik today, he was just as forceful in his stance.
“He’s not going anywhere. I keep getting hit with all that stuff. To heck with it. Felix is staying here. I can’t prevent people from making phone calls. Felix is going to stay here. We have Felix signed. We want him to be here. And when we get this thing going to where we want to get to, we’re going to be looking for what he is: A No. 1 starter. And he’s already here, he’s already in place. He’s not going anyplace. Felix is a Mariner, and we’re happy he is.”
End of story, it seems.