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Mariners GM Zduriencik: King Felix is staying in Seattle

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik doesn't allow me to finish the question.

"He ain't going anywhere,'' Zduriencik says of superstar pitcher Felix Hernandez. "He's staying right here.''

That might not be welcome news to teams looking for an ace starter this trade deadline. But it will be to King Felix, who is nearly as emphatic about his wishes to stay in Seattle.

"I've got two more years to go on my contract,'' said Hernandez, who is 6-5 with a 3.13 ERA and has 128 strikeouts, which is tied for the American League lead with All-Star starter Justin Verlander. "It's not my decision. But I would love to stay. I love Seattle. I love the organization, and the city.

"I would be disappointed [to be traded],'' Hernandez added. "I don't think they will do that. I love them. And I think they like me, too.''

It's more than that. They think they need him.

The Mariners have a trio of top pitching prospects coming -- Danny Hultzen, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton -- who all could be with the Mariners by sometime next year. Seattle has struggled to score runs again this year, and club higher-ups have even considered demotions for top young positional players Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley.

They will consider trades for veterans like pitchers Kevin Millwood, Jason Vargas, Brandon League, Miguel Olivo and others.

What they aren't considering is a trade for King Felix.

"Who's going to give me what I'd need to get for him? You're always going to be looking for him if you don't have him,'' Zduriencik said. "We're going to enjoy Felix Hernandez in a Mariners uniform. We love him. And he loves the Mariners.''

There were trade discussions a few years ago right at the deadline. But since Hernandez signed an $80-million, five-year deal, both sides have seemed committed to staying together.

"When you have the best or near the best, why would you want to trade him?'' Zduriencik said. "I'm just not in the mood to trade Felix Hernandez.''

 
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