King Felix welcomes the Yankees to his dominion.
Felix Hernandez was already under contract with the Seattle Mariners for the next two seasons, so the only way he was going to pitch elsewhere in that time was if the Mariners agreed to the idea and got back a huge bounty in return.
The all-star, Cy Young winning pitcher has been a pipe dream of the Texas Rangers, and several other clubs for quite some time, but his reported 7-year, $175 million deal he's about to sign likely will take the 27-year-old off teams' radars for at least a few more years. There are also reports now surfacing saying the extension is only five years for $135 million, but it wouldn't kick in until 2015, so it's essentially the same thing.
Hernandez, along with Tampa Bay lefty David Price, were pretty much the only two names that continually came up when discussing you the Rangers should/would deal top prospect Jurickson Profar for, and now that list is down to one, at least for a few more years.
As ESPN's Buster Olney reported, only three pitchers since the 1960s have logged more innings before the age of 27. Hernandez will turn 27 during the season's first week. Those pitchers are Bert Blyleven, Fernando Valenzuela and Doc Gooden, and only Blyleven stayed dominant after that age.
Hernandez seems to be a transcendent talent, and should remain dominant for years to come, but the Mariners could end up regretting this deal even though it's allowing them to keep their prized possession for probably the remainder of his career if he keeps up his workload.
This doesn't mean Hernandez could never land elsewhere via trade, but the Rangers' chances of getting him are taking a severe hit.