New York Yankees: Keep This Seattle Pitching Prince On Your Radar New York Yankees: Keep This Seattle Pitching Prince On Your Radar New York Yankees: Keep This Seattle Pitching Prince On Your Radar

New York Yankees: Keep This Seattle Pitching Prince On Your Radar

Where there is a King, usually more royalty can be found. And in Seattle, the Mariners are forming a nice little pitching kingdom of their own.

Back in 2005, Pitcher Felix Hernandez was dubbed ‘King Felix’ down in A-ball for his dynamic arm, made his debut at age 19.

Seven seasons later, this King has earned the title; as King Felix is one of the most lethal pitchers in baseball today. Unfortunately, the 2010 CY Young winner plays for the Mariners who have been the bottom feeders of the AL West, a place they still remain today.

Over his career, King Felix has a 3.20 ERA, over 179 starts, posting a 74-59 record, with 1087 strikeouts, 14 shutouts and has clocked 1202 innings total. Keep in mind that if he played on any other team the King’s wins-loses and ERA would be much lower.

Now, you can only imagine the New York Yankees along with every other team in baseball have been drooling over King Felix for some time now.

Presumably the Mariners front office has listened to numerous offers to obtain the King, especially before they signed him to a four-year extension. I can assure you that a few calls came from the Yankees who would love to get their claws on the 25-year-old, who has yet to reach his prime.

Over this past winter, Yankee fans were hoping for a King under their Christmas tree, but Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik made it clear that was never going to happen. Zduriencik had already screwed the Yankees in Cliff Lee trade, by using New York as leverage to bait the Texas Rangers to get Seattle even more players.

That did NOT fair well with Yankees GM Brian Cashman, but it didn’t stop him from pursuing Felix.

Even though the 2011 Yankees are off to a hot start, reloading mid-season if a top pitcher is available is almost guaranteed.

With the Mariners standing at 13-16 and sitting pretty in a familiar last place in the AL West, trading for some young minor leaguers would be a smart move to build for the future.

The Yankees have exactly this kind-of young talent to dangle in front of teams without denting their newly built farm system too much.

In comes Mariners rookie Michael Pineda, a 6-foot-7 right-hander who struck out 396 batters in just over 404 innings pitch in the minor leagues. Pineda won the fifth spot in the Mariners rotation this spring and was the first Mariner rookie ever to make the starting rotation to start the season.

At a ripe 22-years-of-age, Pineda has now made five major-league starts, and it would seem that his transition has been flawless. Pineda has posted a 4-1 record, maintains a 2.01 ERA, with 30 strikeouts, giving up zero homers over 32 innings pitched.

At this rate the newly hailed pitching Prince would end the season with a 27-7 record, pitching 213 innings and fanning 204 batters. The likelihood that Pineda’s first big league season ends up like this is not going to happen, but winning 10-13 games before the All-Star break on the Mariners is a feat in itself and that could be possible.

Pineda throws first pitch strikes 72% of the time, has complete control of his large physique because he can repeat his deliveries and already has the mindset of controlling the pace of a game.

This newly donned Prince has been getting praise everywhere; even ESPN’s Buster Onley has mentioned Rookie Of The Year and possibly a CY Young candidate in his article about Pineda. While Onley’s ESPN colleague Jim Caple also wrote a nice piece about the new Prince who joined the King.

Okay Yankee fans you can start drooling.

The question remains whether Zduriencik will try to screw Cashman again by driving up the price or using the Yankee name to squeeze another team?

Zduriencik knows the Yankees have some key young and talented pieces that the Mariners need, but whether he is even serious about building a contending team remains to be seen.

Yes, because Seattle doesn’t have the leverage financially to do much and getting a top player to come to a crappy team is going to cost. The Mariners fell flat in 2010, when even I predicted them to take the AL West but instead they finished dead last in baseball winning just 61 games.

Mariner fans are not happy and the amount of empty seats at the ballpark can attest to that. My cousin and her husband just moved to Seattle and both have confirmed that the best seat in the house is way under $100. She actually said it made her feel sad, but she does come from a Yankee family so I blame it more on missing the pinstripes.

Regardless, I can promise you that Pineda is on Cashman’s radar but the days of screwing the Yankees just because their the Yankees are way over.

Remember the Yankees are resilient, so not obtaining a player from a team that is asking way more only winds up screwing themselves down the road. Let’s hope Seattle plays fair this time because this kid looks really good, but not worth handing the entire farm system or Robinson Cano like Zduriencik said would be a starting point for Felix a year ago.

Just keep an eye on Michael Pineda cause this could get interesting as the season progresses.

The Prince of New York……doesn’t that have a nice ring to it???!!!!


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  1. Phill says:

    Why is it always assumed by Yankees fans that getting someone like Pineda or even Felix is your god-given right. It's not. The sense of entitlement that some Yankees fans like yourself have is what makes people hate you. I'm a Mariners fan who lives in the NYC area, and from what I've seen, REAL Yankees fans are sick and tired of fans like you. Ones who think "oh we're the Yankees so we can have whatever player we want, when we want them" leave a real bad taste in the mouths of baseball fans both of the Yankees and otherwise. Jack Zduriencik didn't SCREW the Yankees in the Cliff Lee deal, he HELPED the Mariners. He is after all the GM of THE MARINERS is he not? God forbid anybody not just hand over their best players year after year to the mighty Yankees. God forbid any of these "bottom feeders", as you so eloquently put it, try and build up their team and compete with the mighty Yankees. Nobody's "screwing the Yankees, just to screw the Yankees", they're just helping themselves. And one last point, since when are the best seats in the house way under $100 a bad thing? Is the measure of a great team the amount of money they take from the fans that support them? That's not what baseball is all about, at least not for me. Perhaps if the Yankees charged any less than $1000 for good seats in the Stadium, that can only be bought by self indulging fans like yourself and not the true Yankees fans that I sit with in the rafters of your "Cathedral". I hope The Prince never dons the pinstripes, not because I'm a Yankee hater, but because I'm a baseball fan.

    • D-mets says:

      WOW….as a Mets fan I know first hand what it is like to watch the Yankees win over and over again.

      One thing is that Kate (the author) is just writing a possible trade that would help for the Yankees (her team) get better, isn't that what every fan wants??

      The Yankees go above and beyond using all available resources to make the team better, something I wish the Mets would do. Getting angry about a team who spends money is really masking being jealous that most owners pocket revenue checks and would never invest in their own franchise if it meant they would take any kind of loss.

      The problem is that if fans don't buy tickets and attend games most teams will remain stuck unless they have a generous ownership like the Steinbrenners have continually done for the Yankees.

      In essence you and Kate both want the same thing for your teams. The Yankees need a pitcher and trading to get one is fair game.

      Could you please tell me what is wrong that????

      And the Mets collapsed worse than you can even comprehend in 2007, 14 games left in the season and one game to clinch a playoff birth only to lose 13 of 14 games.

      The Mariners had Lee and King Felix in the same rotation and were out of the playoff hunt so badly they traded Lee away. That is totally bad and that is not any other teams fault.

      • Kate Conroy says:

        Thanks D-Mets….as Mets fans have it ruff the last five years. U have the right men in now at GM and skipper so things will turn around. Santana's rehab is moving along faster and much better than initially thought.

      • Phill says:

        Of course nothing is wrong with wanting your team to get better. Who doesn't want that as you said? My point is the author's "oh woe is me" take on the Yankees. How everyone is out to screw the Yankees, and anything less than a team submitting to what is best for the Yankees is somehow a blasphemous move. I take issue with the fact that she calls the Mariners "bottom feeders" with such arrogance. In essence saying because the Mariners are struggling, they have nothing to play for and therefore should fire sell their key players to teams like the Yankees who would use Pineda as a small piece of a playoff run, whereas a team like the Mariners can start to build around him and Felix and put a contender on the field.

  2. FdaYankees says:

    F the Stankees! I hope the whole league boycotts dealing with you. Try developing talent instead of purchasing it… How bout Phil Hughes???

    • Kate Conroy says:

      Ignorant comment considering the Yankees have the 4th or 5th deepest farm system in the Majors currently. Ivan Nova, Brett Gardner, Robbie Cano are all home grown, minus the Jeter, Mo and Posada all came been Yankee lifers.

      So, what is your point???

    • Kate Conroy says:

      I am just looking out for my team and the Yankees were screwed over in the Lee deal.

      I get throwing the Yankees in the mix to up the ante, but to go that far into a deal to the point where Lee was shocked too.

      His wife was looking at NY property and CC called to congratulate him….it was undermining and unprofessional….something sadly that Mariners fans are getting pretty used too.

      • Phill says:

        You're arrogance and ignorance is amazing to me. Nothing the Mariners did in the Cliff Lee deal was "undermining" or "unprofessional" just because the Yankees didn't get what they want. I understand as a fan you're upset over the fact that your team didn't get the player they wanted, but to say there were shady business practices just to screw the Yankees is simply not true. Jack Zduriencik was just doing what he felt gave the Mariners the best chance of rebuilding and putting a winner on the field. And the deal did just that. The hottest hitter in our lineup right now came from that deal in the person of Justin Smoak. What the Yankees offered in the deal presented question marks to the Mariners as to whether the players offered by the Yankees would help the M's. There were questions at the time whether or not Jesus Montero could be a legitimate big league catcher or not. And the other player offered in the deal, David Adams, had a sprained ankle at the time of the deal so there were question marks on his health going forward.

        So I, as a Mariners fan, am not "getting pretty used to" "undermining and unprofessional" practices. What I'm getting used to is a GM, finally ready to do what is best for the Mariners and put a winner on the field.

      • w says:

        you are forgetting that the yankees had their chance to get cliff lee and guess what happened? he turned them down for less money and the potential to be part of the greatest starting rotation in mlb history. quit your whining kate and let it go. jack z is the mariners gm. as a gm, you have to make business decisions that make sense. he made the decision to trade with texas because it was a business decision that made sense. he made the most out of the trade value cliff lee brought him. i'm sure steinbrenner would have respected that decision for he would have done that himself if he was in jack's shoes. i still can't believe some old school yankees fans still feel angry when they let jay buhner go to the mariners back in the late 80's, you people need to move on. by the way, are you related to fox sportswriter, john paul morosi? every year he bashes the mariners and keeps mentioning how the mariners have to trade away felix. he keeps trying to coax felix in his interviews about being traded, what a jerk. i doubt felix will get traded, he's probably the main reason why m's fans actually go to the game, trading him away for "prospects" will be detrimental to the mariners. the m's should not trade him for anything less than a "sure thing."

        • Kate Conroy says:

          Glad that we did not get Lee now, but the first time the Mariners were held the power and Lee even said he and his family were ready to come to NYC.

          • Phill says:

            Who cares if his family were ready to move to New York or not? That carries absolutely no weight in this argument. I'm sure his family is just fine living in whatever large home a MLB contract offers. Meaningless areguement. Meaningless blog entry.

            • Kate Conroy says:

              "Last night, I had a feeling something was going on, and obviously, when I woke up this morning, the media kind of got on to something," Lee said. "I saw the Yankees were on the verge of happening."

              Lee said that he called Sabathia, his former rotation mate with the Indians, who seemed to indicate that he believed they would be teammates again by first pitch on Friday.

              "I know he was very excited about the possibility of coming here," Sabathia said. "When I talked to him this morning, I thought he was definitely coming. It just didn't work out. … Our wives started talking about places to live and stuff like that. We were pretty excited. Hopefully we'll get him next year."

  3. Jeff Engels says:

    Hi, Well I thought I would chime in on this issue speaking on behalf of a Mariners fan who lives in Seattle and is also the grandson of Gordon Rhodes who pitched for the Yankees from 29-32. We have had a tough road out here since losing to the Yankees in game 6 of the ALCS and having to listen to Sinatra singing NY NY on TV. Then add in losing A-Rod, Randy Johnson, Griffey, Lou Piniella etc. But we are not looking for pity here in Seattle and are rebuilding piece by piece putting us at 3 games out of first in the AL West as of last night. The fans here want to keep King Felix and Michael Pineda, thankyou very much. As far as the Cliff Lee deal goes our GM Jack Zduriencik played that hand well and we ended up with Justin Smoak who is batting 315 with 5 hrs and 21 RBIs. Just because we choose to live out West to avoid the intense East Coast angst does not mean we are hicks ie: see Microsoft, Boeing. But I fear that the Yankees dynasty may be fading after this season and the sun is begining to rise out here in the wild west! Go M's!

    • Kate Conroy says:

      I am not insulting the Mariners, but the fact is that 2010 was a complete failure. You had the two best arms in baseball and everyone picked the Mariners to win the West, including myself. I do not pity Seattle at all, I think that your ownership is what the problem has been and now that would be Nintendo if I am correct?

      I never said that Mainer fans were hicks or that this any kind of an East Coast vs. West Coast debate, as if I recall the SF Giants are on your side of the country?!!! I was just making a point about the Mariners pitching and how there is no money to spend in Seattle, according to what I have read. So a trade for someone as productive and young as Pineda or King Felix would give Seattle a ton of possibilities to mold for the future.

      • Phill says:

        Didn't want to go low brow with my comments, but since you appear to do no real research before writing this garbage, I will say this blog is a joke. Kate, you are the kind of Yankees fan that gives Yankees fans a bad name.

        • Kate Conroy says:

          Why because I saw a talented pitcher on a team that might be up for a trade to get some prospects???

          The Mariners are doing better lately so I understand why you would want to keep both aces….but you traded Lee away a year ago so it is not completely nuts to think if Seattle is not doing well by the All-Star break that you might be willing to do something.

          Thank you for calling my blog a joke, but it seems your anger might be related to the Mariners making a mess of things than it is about me suggesting to keep on eye on some pitchers.

        • Kate Conroy says:

          "Didn’t want to go low brow with my comments"….you just did!

          • Phill says:

            It's your arrogance that has me angry. The way you call the Mariners "bottom feeders", the way you continue to suggest that the Mariners were shady in the Cliff Lee Deal even after I provided you with the facts contrary to what you said. So yes, you're blog is a joke

  4. Henry says:

    The young pitcher sounds good but he is not a veteran and would have to play for a team under a lot of pressure. I don't get your point. The Mariners should keep the King because he is a draw for them. The yankees need to develop there own talant. I think you are another yankee fan who wants to dump Montero. I tired of fellow yankee fans with this attitude.

    • Kate Conroy says:

      Henry I see what your saying…I do think Montero should be dumped as I don't see his worth long-term as a catcher because his size is not ideal. Catchers are coveted and his bat makes him more appealing to teams who could use another hitter too.

      The Yankees have a ton of great arms as Cashman has done a great job developing a solid farm system. Why we don't bring any of them up, like other teams do is what I don't get? They are not going to be perfect, but give one or two a chance…..