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March 7, 2012 at 9:29 AM

What Felix Hernandez really said on the radio yesterday; nice things, but not as strong as made out to be

Some buzz in the blogosphere yesterday about Felix Hernandez telling Jim Bowden and Casey Stern on their Sirius satellite radio program that he has a plan to stay in Seattle the rest of his career. While Hernandez did technically say that on the air, the plan was hardly laid out in detail.
Just to clarify exactly what Hernandez said, here are his exact words.
At the tail end of the interview, Bowden tells Hernandez he can see the pitcher spending the rest of his playing days with the Mariners.
HERNANDEZ: “Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.”
Bowden then suggests that Hernandez would be ready to sign if the Mariners put a long-term extension deal in front of him right now.
HERNANDEZ: “That would be awesome.”
Bowden then tells Hernandez “You’ve got to do it. You’ve got to finish your career in Seattle. It would be great.”
HERNANDEZ: “I just want to stay here. I live here, I live in Seattle and this organization is pretty good.”
So, there you go. It’s not so much that Hernandez spelled out a plan to stay in Seattle. Rather, he was saying the right things when prompted rather strongly by a radio host.
Now, it’s better than Hernandez being non-committal. But seriously, I don’t know of too many pitchers under contract three more seasons who would react negatively to being handed a major contract extension coming off a year that was substantially lesser than Hernandez’s Cy Young Award campaign in 2010.
And no, there is no deal about to be put in front of him this afternoon.
So, not to rain on anyone’s parade. But trying to place any significance on these comments and read whether they mean Hernandez will be here after 2014 is a somewhat misleading exercise.
He’s a guy beng paid $20 million this year on a team with a payroll in the low-$80 millions. That means, you say the right things. At that wage, you can afford a home in Seattle, Venezuela, Miami and downtown London, England if you want while having enough left over for beach places in Malibu and Hawaii. What does it mean beyond 2014? Not much, unless Hernandez becomes the game’s first player-owner-GM.
But sure, it’s better to hear him saying nice things than the alternative.

Here is some of the rest of what Hernandez said. On what his mindset was heading into the 2012 season:
HERNANDEZ: “I’m trying to win more games, trying to be more consistent and help my team to win.”
On what he thought of the Pineda-Montero deal:
HERNANDEZ: “I don’t know what I’m going to say, but I think it was a good trade. We needed offense and we got Montero. We got Montero and we got Noesi too. Noesi is pretty good. I think he’s going to help, too.”
On what he thinks of the team’s young talent:
HERNANDEZ: “Everyone, they’re pretty good. They have good talent and this team is going in the right direction. We have pretty good talent here. Pretty good young guys that can do good and I think we’re going to be OK.”
On how close the Mariners are to actually contending:
HERNANDEZ: “We’re getting there, man. We’re getting there. We’re close, we’re close. We’ve just got to keep working hard and we’ll be OK.”



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