Should the Mariners and Yankees talk Felix Hernandez?

Aside from Ichiro and Felix Hernandez, there’s not much to see when it comes to the Seattle Mariners. They’re in a real bind because even in a wide-open division, they don’t have enough to compete in the AL West but they also don’t want to trade away their best talent and not have anything to attract fans to the ballpark this season.

But at this point, it might not be a bad idea for GM Jack Zduriencik to get Brian Cashman on the phone.

After missing out on Cliff Lee this winter, the Yankees still need pitching. If A.J. Burnett comes around and Phil Hughes gives the club another quality season, then the Bombers could make do. But this is the Yankees: They don’t want to “make do,” they want to win championships. That’s why they might be willing to sell the farm in order to acquire a piece like King Felix.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports talked about this very topic in one of his latest columns. He writes that Zduriencik might be able to acquire farm names such as Jesus Montero (who was the centerpiece of the Yankees’ offer to the Mariners last summer before Seattle sent him to Texas), Manny Banuelos, Dellin Betances, Ivan Nova, Hector Noesi and Eduardo Nunez. As Rosenthal points out, the M’s wouldn’t be able to acquire all of those players, but considering Hernandez is coming off a Cy Young-winning season, is only 25 and is under team control through 2014, there’s not much Zduriencik couldn’t at least ask for.

But again, would the M’s be willing to part with a player such as Hernandez when it’ll make them weaker now and the Yankees stronger? King Felix may wind up spending the next 10 years beating them in New York and then what was this all for? To acquire some prospects that may or may not turn out?

That said, the M’s need a lot of players and New York could certainly help them in that area. If Seattle were able to acquire five great to very good prospects, they might be able to compete for a championship themselves in the near future. Nothing is guaranteed of course, but what if in one phone call Zduriencik could make his club a serious contender in two or three years? All he has to do is sacrifice a lot right now to possibly acquire a lot more down the road.

If you’re Zduriencik, do you make the call?

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Report: Mariners’ nixed three-way deal involving Hernandez and Gonzo

According to a report by the Seattle Times’ Geoff Baker, the Mariners declined an offer from the Red Sox that would have sent starter Felix Hernandez to Boston in exchange for five prospects.

After the Mariners squashed that deal, the Red Sox got the Padres involved and the three clubs discussed a trade that would have sent slugger Adrian Gonzalez to Seattle, King Felix to Boston and Brandon Marrow, Phillippe Aumont and Carlos Triunfel to San Diego. But in the end, the Mariners backed out of that trade proposal as well.

…The Mariners apparently nixed it, feeling it would not benefit them in the long-term. Boston then turned around and dealt Masterson and Hagadone to the Indians for catcher Victor Martinez.

From what I’m hearing, the Mariners didn’t think any of the packages they were being offered would go down much in substance over the next 12 months, when they’d only have another year-plus of Hernandez under control. Why give up the extra year, their reasoning went, if they could still get a similar offer at the 2010 deadline?

Getting Gonzo would have been outstanding for an offensively challenged club like the Mariners, but in the end I think Seattle would have given up too much.

Losing Hernandez (a top 5 pitcher) would have been crippling enough, but throwing in Aumont (a pitcher with front-of-the rotation stuff) and Triunfel (a top 50 infield prospect) in addition would have definitely taken a big chunk out of the M’s future. (One could debate whether or not trading Morrow would be a significant loss in the end.)

While adding Gonzo to their lineup would have been excellent, I think Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik made the right decision in passing on this deal.

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