INDIANAPOLIS -- Superstar pitcher
But King Felix is a special case. And baseball people understand that.
"The Mariners should sign up for that right now,'' one baseball executive at this week's winter meetings said of the $100 million figure.
"That number is too low,'' one competing agent said (although, admittedly, competing agents always think the other guy is settling).
The thing is, Hernandez is only 23 years old, he went 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA last year, and his overall numbers were only a smidgen behind Cy Young winner Greinke's. And that's at an age when top prospects are often just breaking into Triple-A or still in Double-A.
The way Hernandez's camp arrived at the $100 million figure is that the ace right-hander should get roughly $10 million this year in arbitration, then maybe $15 million the next year, followed by four free-agent years at around $20 mil. The $20 million is calculated by taking the $23 million salary of baseball's best-paid pitchers,
That would come to $105 million. But since Felix made $3.8 million last year, he could probably be enticed by the flat $100 mil figure.
With that in mind, the Blue Jays might consider dealing Halladay at the trade deadline this summer if they can't get it done over the winter. Halladay's agents set a deadline of spring training in order to avoid the distraction that last year's public selloff inspired, and that makes sense from their perspective. Last summer was no fun for Halladay or his teammates. But the reality is that the new Jays regime, headed by 32-year-old GM
Fairly little is known about the Halladay talks thus far (that's the new Jays leaders being quiet), but Toronto has particular interest in pitching, a shortstop and a catcher, and there are believed to be four main contenders. The Mets are also known to have checked in (but no one believes that Halladay would approve a trade to the Mets, considering the season they had last year). These are the frontrunners right now:
One extreme longshot team in the Halladay derby is the Rays, who kicked tires with the Blue Jays about their ace. A person familiar with the talks said it's "extremely unlikely" that Halladay ends up in Tampa Bay.
• Bay's most interested suitors appear to be the Mariners, Angels and Red Sox. Boston isn't believed willing to go all that much higher than the $60 million for four years that they originally offered. But Bay loved his time there, so perhaps he would give them a slight discount. The Angels and Mariners are battling on a number of fronts. But the Angels' interest is apparent, especially with them shopping two other outfielders (
• The Cardinals' one-year deal with
• Soriano surprised the Braves by accepting arbitration, and Atlanta immediately began telling folks that it may look to trade him now. The Braves can't make a trade without Soriano's approval, but perhaps they can find the right spot for him. In any case, with a $6.3 million salary in 2009, he is due to make at least $7 million in arbitration.
• Astros closer
• Milwaukee is believed to be the leader for
• The Mets were startled by Wolf's three-year offer and
• The Tigers appear intent on trading
• The Mets were expected to start talks with
• Execs believe the Mets will trade
• No surprise that
• The consensus is that the Mariners got a bargain with
• The Astros and Rangers might be possibilities for Brett Myers, who is definitely gone from the Phillies.
• The Yankees' first offer to
• The Yankees spent Monday trying to trade for