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Good for the Mariners

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  January 19, 2010 12:06 PM

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Four Red Sox fans, at last count, e-mailed today to bemoan the fact that Seattle had agreed to a contract extension with their ace pitcher, Felix Hernandez.

That's understandable. You want your team to get as many good players as it can.

But if you're a fan of baseball, this development is good news. The Mariners were smart enough to scout Hernandez, sign him and develop him into one of the best pitchers in baseball. They should be allowed to reap the rewards.

The same is true of the Minnesota Twins and Joe Mauer. Just because the Red Sox could use a catcher in a year doesn't mean Minnesota should step aside and give up the guy who could become the best player in franchise history.

Look at it this way: Baseball wouldn't be much fun if all the good players were only in Boston, Los Angeles and New York. Teams like the Red Sox should be rewarded by their willingness to spend money. But that shouldn't always come at the expense of other teams.

Speaking of money, noon was the deadline for teams and players to exchange arbitration figures if they had not agreed to terms. The Red Sox involved are Jonathan Papelbon, Jeremy Hermida, Manny Delcarmen and Ramon Ramirez.

Some folks are making too much of this deadline. Just because the sides exchange figures does not mean there will be a hearing. The hearings do not start until next month; there is plenty of time to make a deal.

Beyond that, regardless of what happens, the players in question will be on the team next season regardless. This is just procedural stuff.

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