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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

February 20, 2013 at 7:00 AM

Felix Hernandez signs unprecedented $175 million contract

Is any baseball player worth $175 million?

OK, maybe King Felix is the best pitcher in baseball today, maybe of all time. But is that really worth $175 million (average of $25 million a year) [“One happy King,” Sports, Feb. 14]?

Let’s say Felix stays healthy for seven years and starts maybe 30 games each year. That gives him $833,000 per game. Let’s say he throws one hundred pitches on average for each of those games. That works out to $8,330 per pitch.

Why would the Mariners, or any team, pay that kind of money to a pitcher?

To win games? Even if Felix wins 20 games each season, there are 140 other games, of which at least 70 need to be won to get in the playoffs

To fill seats at Safeco? A pitcher starts about every fifth game. Let’s say Felix starts 30 games. If we’re lucky, 20 of those games are at home. I doubt fans will go to see Felix sitting on the bench for the other 60 home games.

To make the hometown fans think the owners are serious about putting together a winner? Wouldn’t some of that money be better spent on hitters who could make a difference every game and draw fans to the park every game?

–Tom Friedman, Seattle

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