Felix Hernandez agreed to terms on a seven-year deal worth $175 million with Seattle on Tuesday that will make the 26-year-old right-hander the highest-paid pitcher in Major League Baseball.
The deal, confirmed by the Mariners on their website, was nearly completed last week but delayed after the American League club raised concerns about the Venezuelan’s right elbow. The contract is set to be signed on Wednesday.
“It’s a great thing for the Seattle Mariners and it’s a great thing for Felix Hernandez,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “We’re looking forward to this guy being here for a long time.”
Hernandez had been set to make $19.5 million this year and $20 million next year to complete a five-year deal worth $78 signed in 2010. Instead, he will make $25 million a year from now through the 2019 campaign.
Major League Baseball’s largest prior deal for a pitcher was the seven-year contract worth $161 million signed before the 2010 season began by New York Yankees star CC Sabathia.
The Mariners have not reached the playoffs since 2001.
Hernandez, the 2010 American League Cy Young Award winner as top pitcher, hurled a perfect game for Seattle over Tampa Bay last August on his way to a 13-9 season with a 3.06 earned-run average and 223 strikeouts in 33 starts.
The three-time All-Star has a 98-76 Major League Baseball record with a 3.22 earned-run average in 238 starts for the Mariners since his 2005 debut. He has pitched no less than 232 innings in each of the past four seasons.
Copyright (2013) AFP. All rights reserved.
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