Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Boston_red_sox_efce
Every executive on every team outside of Seattle just groaned a little bit. Felix Hernandez has reportedly signed a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Mariners, making him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history. The 26-year-old phenom had two years remaining on his deal, but by inking the monster extension, Hernandez will no longer hit the open market following the 2014 season. The funny thing about Hernandez’s record-setting contract is that it’s hard to argue with Seattle’s logic, and that never seems to be the case when teams ink players to such megadeals. There are few players you can point to, though, and safely say without hesitation that they’re worth giving up the farm to land. Hernandez is one of those special players, and yet the Mariners — despite struggling recently — have repeatedly stuck to their guns and refused to move the coveted hurler. Now, after laying down an obscene amount of cash, it looks like Hernandez isn’t going anywhere, and that’s a crushing reality for those teams perhaps already allocating their funds in a manner that would have enabled them to make a run at the superstar following the 2014 season. Thursday’s news, while major, isn’t exactly shocking. The length and dollar amount are unrivaled, but there had been a report earlier this offseason that the Mariners were considering offering the right-hander a four-year, $100 million deal. That would have given Hernandez the same $25 million average annual salary and also allowed him to hit the open market a bit earlier than 2019, but you can’t fault a guy for pushing for long-term financial security. Hernandez will be 33 when his contract expires after the 2019 season. Cliff Lee was 32 when he signed his five-year $120 million deal with the Phillies before the 2011 season, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that Hernandez could someday command a second nine-figure contract. The wear and tear on Hernandez’s arm by then will be much more substantial, considering the Venezuelan began his major league career at the age of 19, but who knows what the pitching market will look like at that point? Hernandez’s next contract is a ways away, though, and a lot can happen between now and then. After all, Brandon Webb was the NL Cy Young winner seven years ago and he’s now out of baseball after multiple failed comeback attempts. The more appropriate route in making sense of Hernandez’s new deal is to see what it means right here and now. First and foremost, it shows that the Mariners have their heads on straight. They know what they have in Hernandez, who is a bona fide ace — the likes of which don’t come around very often. Rather than dealing him away in the hopes of landing “the next Felix Hernandez,” Seattle made the wise decision to lock up its franchise cornerstone for the duration of his prime years. For the next seven years, the Mariners have the luxury of knowing who will be their Opening Day starter, who will be the team’s workhorse and who will spearhead Seattle’s quest to regain AL West supremacy. Hernandez enters 2013 on the heels of five straight seasons of 200-plus innings and four straight seasons with more than 200 strikeouts. He earned AL Cy Young honors in 2010, and his resume would probably include even more accolades if he was playing in a bigger, more successful market. Clearly, Hernandez is OK with being a part of building something in Seattle, though, and he has and will continue to be the team’s most marketable player. Hernandez’s deal also means that other pitchers, including David Price and Clayton Kershaw, are in line for huge paydays. That may have been the case all along, but Kershaw should be especially happy about the deal given to Hernandez. The Dodgers left-hander is still just 24, and is currently slated to hit free agency after the 2014 season, when he’ll be 26. Sound familiar? It’s probably safe to assume that Hernandez’s extension will serve as a baseline in those negotiations. (Ching ching.) Keeping the free-spending Dodgers out of this deal, though, Hernandez and the Mariners are a perfect match, and the extension is one that works for both sides. It’s a whole lot of money, yes, but the price won’t look too steep when Hernandez continues to show who he really is: one of baseball’s best. This isn’t the last of the moaning and groaning from MLB executives when it comes to Hernandez. You won’t hear a peep from the Mariners’ front office, though. It’ll be too busy enjoying the show. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Athletics trade Derek Norris to Padres

Dodgers not happy with Padres GM over Matt Kemp trade

Mario Balotelli banned match for offensive Instagram post

Marc Trestman: Benching Jay Cutler could revive QB's career

Rob Gronkowski jokes about Tom Brady saying he's grown up

Rajon Rondo traded to Mavs for three players, picks

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Washington Post has perfect description for Titans-Jaguars

Wilbon angry at DC for not supporting Wizards

Urban Meyer says Tim Tebow still wants to play in the NFL

Keenan Lewis: Saints preparing 'funeral' for Falcons

Chris Christie defends being a Cowboys fan

Celtics co-owner: 2024 Olympics would be 'boon for Beantown'

Extremely rare set of Air Jordan 7s selling for $45,000

Five reasons why Alabama will win College Football Playoff

Hugh Freeze proud of Ole Miss’ record 2.57 team GPA

Youngstown St. addresses Bo Pelini's profanity-laced rant

It's been almost 40 years since NFL's last untelevised game

The NHL has finally fined a player for diving

Ben Roethlisberger: Le’Veon Bell is having an MVP season

Jim Harbaugh comments on the reported offer from Michigan

Michael Jordan's college Converse shoes sell for $33,387

Week 16 NFL game watchability rankings

Game of the week: Indianapolis Colts vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Chicago Bears are the Monstrosity of the Midway

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Gronk jokes about Brady compliment

In Matt Kemp, did the Dodgers find a pigeon in Padres?

Why the Saints are legit playoff threat

Impact of U.S.-Cuba relations on MLB

Andrew Hawkins, other athletes gain support for social statement attire

NBA's most underrated players

Michael Vick nearly debt-free

Dolphins CB rips Brady's career plans

Biggest winners of the MLB offseason

Brian Billick owns Browns fan

Pelini has profane words for Nebraska AD

When bowl results mean more for one school than another

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.