Now before Mariners fans get all upset with me again for suggesting a trade of right-hander Felix Hernandez, allow me to cite two recent developments:
• The Padres’ boffo return for right-hander Mat Latos, a pitcher who isn’t nearly as good as Hernandez (who is?).
• The stunning offseason additions of the Rangers and Angels, who no longer are simply the best teams in the AL West, but perhaps the best in the American League.
The Mariners, even if they somehow sign free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder, aren’t going to make the playoffs next season, and probably wouldn’t qualify in 2013, either.
I understand the fan opposition to trading Hernandez, but the goal is not to destroy the M’s, it’s to make them better.
The Yankees, as I wrote in March, are a logical trade partner, deep in young talent and strong enough financially to absorb the $58 million left on the final three years of Hernandez’s contract. For King Felix, other teams would jump, too.