General manager Jack Zduriencik was in attendance at the Seattle Sports Star banquet last night in Seattle and he sat down with Mike Gastineau of KJR for this interview
Obviously, JZ isn't keen on speaking about on-going contract negotiations, but he did say this about the pending Felix deal.
"It’s difficult to comment on any of these things that are still on-going. The positive is that we had really good talks."
and he also said this ....
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Any time you go into negotiations with a player to keep them in your city or bring them to your city, they’ve got to want to be here.
In Felix’s case, we had a lot of discussions about what he really wanted to do, and we were excited about what he had to say.
Zduriencik talked about other things like Franklin Gutierrez, Milton Bradley and other offseason moves, including this about the future of the organization.
If you look at ball club on the field, every player on that club will be back a year from now.
We did some things last year and this year that we felt we had to do. We’ll continue to do those things. But as we move forward, the strengths of our this organization, it is our goal to develop this minor league system so we have a feeder system and you don’t always have to make trades and you don’t always have sign free agents, you’re always there to do it. But the strength and core of an organization should be the ones you raise yourself. If we can do that, which we will do that – then I think we’ll be headed in the right direction and we’ll be solid for a long, long time.It's one thing to say that, though I don't know if Bill Bavasi ever said anything like that or even believed it, but I have little doubt if any that Zduriencik will follow through on that statement.
Also from KJR this morning, David Aardsma was on with Mitch and the Morning. I'm sure I've mentioned what a good guy Aardsma is, well this interview gives a glimpse of that.
And since I'm equal opportunity blogger. 710 ESPN had several guests on yesterday, including Keith Law, who broke the story, Karl Ravech of Baseball Tonight and Mariners' catcher Rob Johnson. You can listen to all of those interviews here.
From the newspaper realm ...
News Tribune columnist John McGrath has this column on Felix and the Mariners .
This begat a debate: Should Seattle trade Hernandez with two seasons remaining on his contract, maximizing the pitcher’s market value? Or should the team stay the course and ride the horse?
Amid the discourse, the prevailing emotion was angst. Here was a dilemma, it seemed, with no happy solution. Felix was gone, in either scenario.
And though I suspected Zduriencik could convince Hernandez of still another option – staying with the Mariners another four or five years, then cashing in on free-agency well before he’s 30 – I typically cringed as pundits insisted he’d be foolish to engage in contract-extension talks with the Mariners while he’s only a couple of seasons away from signing a stupid-money contract with, say, the Yankees.
All those fears, it turns out, were unwarranted. Felix Hernandez will pitch in a Seattle uniform for the next five years, and how wonderful is that?
And yet, I’m worried. I’m worried about an injury, and complacency, and the various temptations presented a 23-year-old pro athlete guaranteed $78 million.
Here's Steve Kelley's column from the Times ..
Once again, the M's, under general manager Jack Zduriencik, are doing the right thing. They aren't lowballing their budget and throwing up their hands at the millions it will take to keep the brightest, youngest gun in baseball.
They're paying the price. They're taking championship-sized leaps of faith. They are banking on the big 23-year-old right-hander, believing he can be their ace for the decade.Bob Nightengale of USA Today has this story with an organizational report on the Mariners.
From the blogosphere ...
Proball NW has this post on Felix and finances.