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On June 6th, 2011 the Seattle Mariners had the second overall pick in the MLB draft and used it on Danny Hultzen. He then signed a 5-year $8.5 million dollar contract, with a $6.35 million dollar signing bonus. Since then, Hultzen spent a half a season in Double-A Jackson, and then spent the rest of the 2012 and 2013 seasons in Triple-A Tacoma. This year Hultzen underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and labrum damage in his shoulder, which is possibly the worst-case scenario for any pitcher. This surgery will sideline him for the entire 2014 season.
This type of injury and surgery saw the career of Brandon Webb come to an end two years ago. As you remember Webb was a three-time All Star in Arizona with the Diamondbacks, won the 2006 Cy Young Award, and lead the National League in wins in 06 and in 08.
So, what should the Mariners do with Hultzen when he returns in two years fully healthy and ready to pitch? Should the Mariners trade him while he’s still valuable or take a risk and keep him? If the Mariners trade him while teams are still looking at him then perhaps the M’s might get a pitcher and a big bat for the powerful left-hander.
If the Mariners decide to keep Hultzen, they risk wasting money on him and the strong possibility of him getting hurt again. There goes $14.4 million dollars down the toilet.
So here is the question, and I’ll go ahead and go all Shakespeare on you; “To trade Danny Hultzen, or not to trade Hultzen? That is the question!”. A lot of money has been put into this kid and for the Mariners sake I hope that money doesn’t end up retiring in two years.