Hernandez is in his fifth major league season. His ERA+s from 2005-09: 157, 98, 110, 122, 155. And he is only 23 years old -- and will be a free agent after the 2011 season.
Once the trade deadline had passed, both the Seattle Times and the Globe quoted Epstein:
We shot big on a couple things, a deal that could provide maximum impact. We were very aggressive in use of our own prospects, those deals got close ... Maybe the foundation is laid for the offseason.Epstein did not say much more than that, but Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reported yesterday that the Red Sox had approached Seattle with a 5-for-1 deal. The Mariners could have chosen any five of these eight players in exchange for Felix:
RHP Clay Buchholz!!!
RHP Daniel Bard
RHP Justin Masterson
LHP Nick Hagadone
RHP Michael Bowden
LHP Felix Doubront
OF Josh Reddick
SS Yamaico Navarro
When Seattle said no, Theo approached the Padres and tried to construct a three-way deal that would have sent Adrian Gonzalez to the Mariners, thereby sweetening the pot for the Mariners to ship Felix to Boston. After the Mariners turned that proposal down -- Baker has more details at the link -- Epstein traded Masterson and Hagadone to Cleveland for Victor Martinez. (Alex Speier at WEEI also blogged about this.)
(Indians Prospect Insider claims the Red Sox were offered Cliff Lee for Buchholz and turned the swap down. The Sox asked for Cleveland's #1 prospect, catcher Carlos Santana, straight up for Buchholz, and the Spiders said no.)
Epstein's "foundation" comment may mean he'll try to revisit a possible deal for Hernandez this winter. It seems more likely, though, that there won't be much activity until next July.