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Felix Hernandez’s no-trade clause blocks 10 teams, including nearly all high-payroll clubs

Mar 16, 2011, 3:25 PM EDT

Felix Hernandez crop

No matter how many times the Mariners make it incredibly clear that they aren’t going to trade their 25-year-old Cy Young winner who’s signed through 2014 the speculation about Felix Hernandez deals doesn’t seem to stop, but perhaps this at least will cause it to die down for a while.

Jon Paul Morosi of has learned eight of the 10 teams on Hernandez’s no-trade list: Yankees, Mets, Red Sox, Cubs, Angels, Dodgers, Rangers, Phillies.

Many people assume that players would include teams like the Pirates or Royals on their no-trade lists, but in reality those types of teams are almost never going to actually trade for a superstar player with a big contract anyway. Hernandez including the Pirates on his no-trade list would just be wasting one of the 10 spots, so instead of listing where he’d most like to avoid going he’s instead listing most of the highest-payroll teams.

In fact, of the eight teams Morosi knows about only the Rangers didn’t have one of the 12 highest payrolls in 2010. Hernandez is blocking a trade to the teams he believes are most likely to actually try to swing a deal for him, not the teams he most wants to avoid playing for (although certainly there might be some overlap).

Now can we maybe wait a couple months before there’s another batch of “Will the Mariners trade Felix Hernandez?” columns?

  1. cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    I’m beginning to think the rest of the MLB sees the Mariners as a sort of farm club where they can cherry pick some talent from. Nice to see that isn’t the case.

  2. Cran Boy - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:31 PM

    OK, cynical question: Could there be a strategy in putting the high-payroll clubs on the no-trade list in order to extort, I mean extract, a hefty no-trade clause waiver from them?

    • cur68 - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:35 PM

      oooo…didn’t think of that. Well, back to farm team status…

    • Lukehart80 - Mar 16, 2011 at 4:19 PM

      I don’t think there’s anything cynical about asking that. I’m sure that’s exactly why they put the high-payroll teams on the list. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

      • xmatt0926x - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:43 PM

        Exactly right on. Its not a coincidence that the teams on his list are the exact type of teams that would be trading for a future $20 million/year pitcher in the 1st place. Its strategy plain and simple. Look at that list and understand that he WILL be playing for one of these teams very soon. Its all leverage and he can extract more of what he wants to get him to accept a trade to one of the no-trade teams.

  3. Professor Longnose - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    It could be that he wants to block those teams to have financial leverage if they should want to try to trade for him. It’s not necessarily true, but it makes just as much sense.

  4. echolmberg - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:42 PM


    You may have missed this but WFAN is reporting that the Yankees are THE YANKEES and can clearly get ANY player they want in exchange for some random A ball pitcher who the NY media has hyped up for no reason. So I don’t know WHY I’d listen to reporting from

    I mean [insert good player here] clearly will only want to get paid and [insert other team here] can never pay the player, so clearly that team should just trade the player to the Yankees and give up on trying to win, ever.

    • Cran Boy - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:47 PM

      Oh come on, let’s be fair. Pretty much every Hernandez-to-the-Yankees trade I hear on XM involves not only a minor leaguer but also Joba, The World’s Most Famous Middle Reliever.

  5. Jonny 5 - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    He did that because it’s the smart thing to do. Now he will need to be wooed over to one of these teams, as opposed to finding out one night that he’ll be playing in another city the next day.

  6. uyf1950 - Mar 16, 2011 at 3:49 PM

    I noticed no one has even remotely suggested the reason Felix has those teams on his no trade list is because he loves playing for the Mariners so much he couldn’t stand to leave OR that he expects the Mariners to be a factor in the AL West. The simple fact is that Felix wants to have all the leverage over the Mariners should they decide to trade him and over whichever team might be interested in trading for him. It’s all about the money, don’t fool yourselves.

  7. mercyflush - Mar 16, 2011 at 4:10 PM

    So… the Phillies can’t trade Blanton for him?

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 16, 2011 at 5:40 PM

      Alas, right now, that would not be a good move for the Phightins. Cole might get a bit huffy if he was knocked down to No. 5 in the rotation.

    • marinersnate - Mar 16, 2011 at 6:53 PM

      “So… the Phillies can’t trade Blanton for him?”

      That is actually a far more fair deal them most of the one’s that I have heard proposed by Yanks fans.

      They usually come up with something like: “Let’s see. Jober, and any three prospects, er no, two prospects, not ranked in our top ten. Yeah. Heck how can they turn that down. We are over-paying!”

  8. macjacmccoy - Mar 16, 2011 at 10:11 PM

    I dont get why everytime you here a guy with a no trade clause the teams he usually blocking trades to are the good teams. Maybe Im missing something but I dont get the logic of it. I would rather block a trade to a team like the Royals then say Angels. But for some reason it always seems to be the opposite in these situations. Maybe I just dont understand how these clauses work or are negotiated. I dunno.

  9. RichinNJ - Mar 16, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    As a Yankee fan, I hope Felix stays in Seattle.

    • marinersnate - Mar 17, 2011 at 1:06 AM

      “As a Yankee fan, I hope Felix stays in Seattle.”

      Well, as a NON “Yankee fan”, I can not agree with you more.

      Kind of how you “didn’t really want Cliff Lee”? (Er, I mean he, who shall not be named).

  10. Jeremiah Graves - Mar 17, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Remember a year ago when the Mariners were the toast of baseball and everyone was expecting them to run away with the AL West and be a sleeper for the World Series.

    Huh…my how things change when they start playing the games.

    • marinersnate - Mar 18, 2011 at 2:27 AM

      Wow. Very true.

      And can you imagine? They did ALL that without once feeling the need to trade the best pitcher in MLB for a bucket of balls. Go figure?

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