Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Hernandez still not enough to fix Mariners

While there has been plenty of positivity surrounding the Seattle Mariners following the news that Felix Hernandez has agreed a new bumper seven-year, $175 million contract, it hasn’t done much to convince many people that the franchise will fare any better next season.

Amid doubts over the franchise’s owners commitment to building a successful franchise, CEO Howard Lincoln has made it clear agreeing a new deal with Hernandez was proof that the Mariners are trying to build a winning team and move forward.

“This signing, given the size and length of the contract, is the best evidence that the ownership group is committed to winning and doing what it takes to win,” Lincoln said.

“It ought to remove any doubts about how the ownership group feels and what its objectives are.”
Is it really enough, though? It takes more than having a star pitcher on the mound for a team to be able sustain a challenge throughout an entire season.

Not since 2009 have the Mariners finished higher than fourth in the AL West, and there is little to suggest Seattle will be able to really climb above their rivals next season. There is no doubt Hernandez is one of the best pitchers in the league, but he’s fighting a losing battle to single-handily turn Seattle into anything other than a fourth-placed team.

On paper, there are three better teams than Seattle in the AL West. In reality, there are three better teams than Seattle in the AL West. Unless Hernandez is joined by players capable of performing at his level, then the AL West is going to continue having three better teams than Seattle.

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