USS Mariner says so, Lookout Landing says so, MLBTR says so, and now, finally, the Mariners own website says so. I just got around this morning to reading up on everything, and it looks like Felix Hernandez has signed a contract for 5 years and $78M, which puts him past his arbitration years, and makes him ours until he’s 28 (technically speaking). Not too shabby, Jack Zduriencik, not too shabby.
I didn’t doubt that it might happen, only when it might happen. Franklin Gutierrez has his future as a Mariner set for him, Ichiro isn’t going anywhere, and with two out of three solid outfielders, Felix (and everyone else!) is well protected in a game situation; and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the Gutierrez thing was taken care of first. Letting your ace know you’ve (literally) got his back is important. Also, Felix was happy here; by his own account and the accounts of others, he and his family enjoy living in Seattle very much – outside of settling on a price (and using the Mark Teixeira gauge, it’s still not that much), really, there wasn’t a lot else to do. Now that they’ve done that, it’s all gravy from here on out. Unlike some deals in the past, you will be hard-pressed to find a Mariners fan who thinks this is a bad idea. Twitter was out of control last night well toward midnight, with a lot of vowels and indecipherable crazy being posted by just about everyone I saw there who is a Mariners fan. Check out this thread on Lookout Landing, and you’ll wonder how there are any “O”‘s, “E”‘s and “S”s left on the internet for the rest of us to use! We may still be in need of left field players, but nailing Felix down was all that mattered for a lot of Seattle fans, and now I think we can all collectively breathe a sigh of relief.
While watching the last game of 2009 on FSN last night, I was thinking a lot about how excited I am for the 2010 season to start. Then the news of the original Keith Law rumor came in. Twitter started blowing up around the same time that David Aardsma was closing out the 9th against Texas on TV. I was shifting my attention between massive amounts of new Tweets, Lookout Landing, and watching the rerun game. FSN kept all the hugging at the end of the game in the replay, the march around the field, the smiles, the audio of the guys in the booth talking about what a great and miraculous thing had happened for the Mariners in 2009, all while Twitter was going nuts with Felix signs! Felix signs!. It was almost too much for me to take. Almost. I had that sort of giddy, first-date feeling in my chest, followed by a nice, mellow sensation of tranquility that only comes from being absolutely sure that everything’s going to be alright. I just can’t help feeling that 2010 is going to be something even more special than 2009, and I didn’t even think that was possible last October. But I sure do now.
And just in case Jeff Sullivan is reading this: