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Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, and yes, even Alex Rodriguez. The Mariners have made a habit in the past of failing to re-sign their superstars. Instead, they’ve opted to trade or even let them walk away via free agency. Yes, the return trade package has been decent in a couple instances (see Randy Johnson to Astros). But nothing can replace the impact superstars have on a franchise. Prospects are nice, but you can only stomach those types of deals for so long.
In fact, the Mariners haven’t really been a perennial contender since those aforementioned names departed Seattle. This is why the rumored 7-year/$175 million contract extension for Felix Hernandez is so vital for the Mariners organization moving forward. Will it take up a hefty portion of the payroll? Sure. Could Felix suffer a debilitating injury? It’s possible with anyone. But how would you have felt if Seattle let their prized pitcher leave for another club? Felix has made it clear how much he loves playing in Seattle, and it’s about time the Mariners return the favor and pony up the money.
The team might not be going to the playoffs in the next few years, but this is a step in the right direction, showing potential free agents that Seattle isn’t a bad place to play. Worst case scenario: we’ll have to settle for watching one of the best pitchers in the game toe the rubber every 5th day for years to come.