CHICAGO -- The Mariners are expected to receive many calls of inquiry regarding superstar pitcher Felix Hernandez, but Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik made more clear than ever their intention not to trade King Felix.
"Felix is our property. We're going to have him for the next two years and we're looking forward to having him beyond that,'' Zduriencik said here at the GM meetings.
Zduriencik has told GMs the same thing, as Seattle is endeavoring to lock up the 23-year-old star beyond his free-agent years, which could begin as soon as 2012. It isn't known how any talks along those lines are going. But it's clear Seattle wants to give it a full chance. Mariners people believe Hernandez is not a big injury risk since he has sound mechanics.
The Red Sox, Tigers, Dodgers and Yankees are believed to be among teams to have inquired about Hernandez's availability last summer in the days leading up to the trade deadline (and in some cases that very day). The Red Sox are said to have made a bigger offer for Hernandez than they did for Roy Halladay, and they offered a package of Clay Buchholz, Justin Masterson, Michael Bowden, Nick Hagadone and a positional prospect for Halladay (Masterson and Hagadone have since been traded elsewhere). Zduriencik has consistently declined to characterize the trade offers received for Hernandez.