As our own Craig Calcaterra noted on Twitter from the winter meetings in Indianapolis, “there’s a reason he gets all the news.”
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Mariners have initiated long-term contract discussions with ace Felix Hernandez, but the two sides seem “far apart” at the moment.
Hernandez, 23, is under team control
for two more seasons. He’ll likely seek somewhere around $20 million
per season, so the Mariners’ four-year, $45 million offer won’t get it
done. According to Rosenthal, Hernandez is willing to go year-to-year
in arbitration before seeking a “C.C. Sabathia-type contract” in free
Hernandez earned $3.8 million last season and figures to earn somewhere around $7 million in 2010.
Aside from Zack Greinke, Hernandez was arguably the game’s best pitcher in 2009. The young right-hander was 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA, 1.14 WHIP
and 217 strikeouts in 238 1/3 innings pitched. 29 of Hernandez’s 34
starts were “quality starts,” leading the majors. He finished second in the AL Cy Young, earning two first-place votes.
On the surface, today’s report doesn’t give us a lot of information, but with the rumored signing of Chone Figgins, it’s clear that the Mariners are committed to winning.
Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.
If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.
Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.
Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.
In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.
Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.