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For many Mariners fans, signing Felix Hernandez to a contract extension is the top priority of the 2009 off-season. Hernandez figures to receive a large raise in arbitration, and he will be free to become a free agent following the 2011 off-season. While heÆs undoubtedly one of baseballÆs most promising young pitchers, and a strong 2009 campaign, which has him in the hunt for the Cy Young award, has established him as a proverbial ôlegitimate ace,ö it could ultimately be in the teamÆs best interest to part ways with the 23-year-old flame thrower. While pitchers, especially power pitchers, are a volatile commodity, they are something of a necessity for success. Especially in a post-season setting, a starting pitcher represents perhaps the greatest individual influence on a teamÆs vict ...

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Article written by Casey Greer

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