First off, great job by the Seattle Mariners who have signed their young phenom Felix Hernandez to a 5 year extension. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik officially locked Hernandez up to a five-year $78 million dollar deal that buys out his two remaining years of arbitration plus three years of free agency. King Felix joins Cliff Lee at the top of the rotation to form one of the most lethal 1-2 punches in baseball.
The Pirates officially signed reliever Octavio Dotel to a one year deal to be their closer this season. The deal comes with a club option for 2011. The financials have yet to be released, but it’s being speculated that it could be for about $3 million dollars. Dotel had a solid, but unspectacular, season in 2009 for the White Sox and finished with a 3.32 ERA in 62.3 innings.
Vicente Padilla has re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers after agreeing to a one-year, $5 million dollar deal today. He can earn another $1 million in innings incentives. Padilla, 32, posted a 4.46 ERA in 147 innings pitched last season between the Rangers and Dodgers who picked him up after he was released. It’s significant to note that this probably precludes them from going after Jon Garland who is now rumored to be targeted by the Mets according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
The Phillies made a bold move today and signed starter Joe Blanton to a three-year, $24 million dollar extension, according to a team press release. The deal buys out Blanton’s last arbitration year and two free agent seasons. According to Ed Price of AOL FanHouse, he will get $7MM in 2010 and $8.5MM in the the final two years. Blanton, 29, posted a 4.05 ERA in 195.3 innings last season.
I think the Phillies were smart in locking up Blanton who still has a lot of upside. Combined with Halladay, Hamels and Happ, their rotation will be quite stable for the next three years. I’m very glad to see that the Mariners were able to keep Felix Hernandez Seattle for the next 5 years, following the trend set by the Marlins who locked up Josh Johnson. Hopefully, the Twins can come to an agreement with catcher Joe Mauer on an extension before the start of spring training. I think it’s good for baseball that these young stars stay with the teams that developed them for as long as they can before they get scooped up by the larger market teams. Yankee fans will have to put those King Felix dreams to rest for now.
As for the Mets, nothing new to report, but I do feel bad for them and hope that they can somehow find a way to get back into the fan’s good graces. I read in Newsday that a team official felt that no matter what they do they get beat up unjustly by the fans and the NY media. It’s true.
Every signing is picked apart to death and is almost always presented in a negative light. I know I don’t help matters with my occasional rants, but I do try to keep it balanced. In all honesty, there’s nothing here that won’t be erased with excitement and enthusiasm that comes with the start of spring training. I feel like that’s the point where we all stop complaining and embrace the team we go up north with. I’m looking forward to that. LGM