In case you needed another reminder of baseball’s changing landscape, and the Yankees certainly didn’t, we learned yesterday that the Mariners and Felix Hernandez agreed to a record-setting, seven-year, $175 million extension that will keep King Felix in the Emerald City through 2019. Forget about the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner, who would have been eligible for free agency following the 2014 campaign, getting lured to the Yankees any time soon.
It’s more depressing news in what has been a depressing offseason for Hal Steinbrenner’s old, commitment-phobic club and its agitated fan base. Even the imminent arrival of pitchers and catchers in Tampa may not change the vibe.
The Hernandez deal shows the Yankees’ problem is twofold: They want to slash costs — even isolated African tribes know about ownership’s aspiration to get the 2014 payroll below $189 million — while the rest of the industry is bathing in cash.