Felix is ours and you can't freaking have him! Ever!
The "concessions" on the elbow are a $1M team option for an 8th year if he misses significant time with an elbow injury. The M's basically get a free year. I like it.
The hometown discount was (I think) basically that he'd re-sign with them at all. I mean he surely wants to win at some point, but they've shown very little over his career thus far. The kids look good but only time will tell.
The fans would have burned Safeco to the ground had he left. I would have helped. I know there's risk when you go this long for a pitcher who costs this much, but it's Felix. It's driven purely by emotion and probably slightly irrational but I was so happy this got done.
I agree with the odds that this is a very bad deal. The steady decline in fastball velocity makes this a poor deal by all accounts. What's more surprising is that some of these MLB GMs actually get a paycheck.
asalerno wrote:I agree with the odds that this is a very bad deal. The steady decline in fastball velocity makes this a poor deal by all accounts. What's more surprising is that some of these MLB GMs actually get a paycheck.
Just to touch on this, it's been well-documented that Felix has traded velocity for movement and control with his fastball. His walks are down, Ks are up, and he's simply a better pitcher when he's not overthrowing. The velocity on all his other pitches is almost unchanged from when he broke in. Now, he probably can't hit 98 anymore, but he hits 95-96 when the situation dictates it.
You can't just cherry pick one thing and determine it's a bad deal, especially if you don't understand what you're talking about.
That's applying a narrative to a problem. People want to explain why he's still good, so they assume he's purposely pitching slower. Sure, he can still gear up and throw it 95 if he has to (his max velocity in 2012 was 95.6), just like he could routinely dial it up to 100 in 2007. His 5 MPH drop in average fastball is mirrored by the same difference in his max fastball. Kind of makes the real story behind the drop blatantly obvious. At least the Mariners managed to get one "Get Out of UCL Repair Free" card added to the deal. Makes the signing a lot more palatable. Unless of course it's his shoulder that gives out.
Skin Blues wrote:That's applying a narrative to a problem. People want to explain why he's still good, so they assume he's purposely pitching slower. Sure, he can still gear up and throw it 95 if he has to (his max velocity in 2012 was 95.6), just like he could routinely dial it up to 100 in 2007. His 5 MPH drop in average fastball is mirrored by the same difference in his max fastball. Kind of makes the real story behind the drop blatantly obvious. At least the Mariners managed to get one "Get Out of UCL Repair Free" card added to the deal. Makes the signing a lot more palatable. Unless of course it's his shoulder that gives out.
This is completely inaccurate. No one is assuming he's purposely pitching slower, he's on the record stating it. He has better control and movement. And where's the 5 mph drop in average fastball velocity? Because I see 94.5 mph in 2008 and 92.4 in 2012 (2007 looks so different from even 2008 that it makes it tough to draw a conclusion from it). Not to mention back then he relied heavily on the faster four-seamer whereas he nie primarily throws his two-seamer. And considering Felix throws three pitches (at least) at about the same speed, relying 100% on data that is subject to stringer bias and can easily be misclassified seems silly.
But whatevs. It could be that his elbow really is a ticking time bomb. I just don't think you can draw that conclusion with the data available.
Now, I'm sure this is a pattern that Felix and the Mariners have noticed, and it's quite possible they had the same reaction of explaining it by saying it's by design. Would not be the first time somebody explained a drop in performance/physical ability as saying they're consciously trying to do less. I really, really doubt that he'd make a slow and gradual, intentional decrease in both Max and Avg velocity in that way.
His ability to "reach back for something extra" has also diminished. Even when his average fastball was 96+ MPH he was still able to add an extra 5 MPH to it when he wanted to. Now that he's down around 92-93 MPH on average he's only able to add an extra 3 MPH. He's pitching much closer to his max velocity these days. That could be because of increased accuracy in gun readings, and therefore a tighter spread of values. But it's quite a pattern, and definitely a huge red flag for an injury concern if this rate of decline continues. Obviously he is an amazing pitcher with great control so he is still able to be among the best pitchers in baseball at 92 MPH. It's the tipping point that I'd be worried about.
Here's the deal, for all those that want to hate on Felix, he'll be just fine. For the next five years, I assure you, he will be in the running for the cy young. There are but a few pitchers that can make that type of claim.
Your first question, undoubtedly, is, "what the eff do we care about your assurances, Lastings?" Well, you don't need my assurances. You know this. I guarantee you that, in your fantasy league, you were offered Felix at $22 per year for the next 5 years, you would joyously accept.
The mariners paid what it takes to keep a 25 year old perennial cy young candidate. They could not have had him for less. They could not let him leave. Congrats to Seattle for keeping him.
The signing couldn't have come at a time when his home town stock was any higher. After his no hitter last year he was the only reason any Seattle fan would talk baseball. This is simply a case of taking care of your franchise player no matter what the cost. In the end I don't think he will earn the contract by himself but it will allow the front office some credibility and keep the fan interest up long enough for the next big thing to come along. I don't consider it a smart move as much as I consider it a necessary move. Now everyone crosses their fingers and hopes he stays healthy and dominant for another 5+ seasons.
Team Izzy C Mauer 1 E5 2 Altuve 3 ARam S Cabrera CI LaRoche MI Drew O Melky, Cuddyer, Morse, Hunter, McClouth U Ortiz SP Lee, Fister, Miller, Fernandez, Lackey, RP Chapman Frieri Grilli Gregrsn Bnch 1 Hart 3 Mdlbrk 3 Rendon O Eaton P Lohse Nolasco Santana