By Josh Kerns
While Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik isn’t tooting his own horn about Felix Hernandez’ new deal, 710 ESPN’s Mike Salk and Brock Huard say he deserves plenty of accolades for locking up the face of the franchise to a long-term contract.
Huard says the signing is a hug vote of confidence for the organization and sends a strong message.
Brock and Salk say the Felix Hernandez deal is a tribute to GM Jack Zduriencik. (AP)
“I think Felix signing back for another seven years tells this fan base that this guy is committed and this guy sees things going in the right direction here,” Huard says.
While it does say to fans the Mariners are willing to open their pocketbooks and build a winner, Huard argues it says a lot more to the team and the rest of baseball the M’s are an appealing place to play.
“I think it is quite a statement that while you’re losing you still sign one of their own because many of them would say ‘I’m out.'”
Salk is a little more pragmatic. He says Hernandez decision could simply come down to something as simple as avoiding risk and taking a sure deal now rather than taking chance he gets injured in the last two years of his existing contract.
And although Zduriencik said Tuesday night on the Hot Stove League the signing is a credit to the fans, Salk argues that’s likely the last consideration.
“You cannot tell me that Felix Hernandez was so impressed with 13,000 people at most of the games that he’s like I have to stay here forever. That doesn’t make any logical sense.”
Still, both agree it’s one of the most important moves the team has made in recent years and one more step in what looks to be a ship heading in the right direction.
“It’s a tribute to what he has done, what he has put together how he has drafted, how he’s gotten rid of malcontents,” Huard says.
Salk says he’d love to know what’s really going through Felix’ head.
“Does he like playing for Eric Wedge, does he like the fact that he sees a huge influx of young talent, does he recognize this group actually went to 75 wins was more exciting than the year before, was no longer terrible and was really just young and inexperienced? They weren’t a bad team last year.”
Brock and Salk also discussed the importance of Felix’ new deal in today’s post-show video: