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Felix Hernandez: The rotation will be fine

By Shannon Drayer

I checked in with Felix Hernandez right before the conference calls with the Mariners and Yankees on the Jesus Montero/Michael Pineda trade so I thought I would give you a little something extra while I sort through the news from the two calls.

Felix is home enjoying his final days of freedom, so to speak, before spring training. When I reached him in Venezuela he had the same excitement in his voice that he had after wins last year.

"Just relaxing at home with the family," he said as his children could be heard shouting and laughing in the background.

He had heard about the trade, of course, and said that despite the fact that Jesus Montero grew up in a neighboring city he did not really know him. As for the prospect of adding an impact bat to the lineup, he simply answered, "That would be good."

Felix was not concerned about the starting rotation taking a hit by losing Michael Pineda. He said he believes in what remains.

"Why would the pitching be weaker?" he asked. "Same guys, just no Pineda. It is still good."

He also brought up the addition of Kevin Millwood, something he said he would be a positive.

While he has been watching what the Mariners have been doing this offseason, one thing he was not concerned about was the possibility of getting traded himself.

"Not at all," he said. "They know I want to stay. I wasn't worried."

While preparing for the upcoming season Felix said his mindset was the same as the last few year -- to stay healthy.

For now he will continue to prepare for the season and enjoy his family time.

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