Originally written on The Biz of Baseball  |  Last updated 10/19/14

Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez talks to fans before a game against the Baltimore Orioles at SAFECO Field in Seattle on July 8, 2009. Hernandez was selected to his first All Star Game. (UPI Photo/Jim Bryant) Photo via Newscom

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He’s called the “King” and now he’s getting paid like one. Today, the Seattle Mariners have reached an agreement with former AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez to a 7-year, $175 million contract. In doing so he becomes the highest paid pitcher in baseball. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, the deal is expected to be finalized before Spring Training. As reported by Nightengale: Hernandez was scheduled to earn $19.5 million in 2013 and $20 million in '14. Instead, his new contract will take effect this season and pay him a record average annual value of $25 million through 2019. So, how does the contract rate against his current and former peers? By average annual value (AAV) he ranks #4 tied with Ryan Howard and Josh Hamilton at $25 million, and surpasses the Dodgers’ Zack Grienke  who’s AAV for his 2013-18 deal is $24.5 million. As mentioned, in terms of total dollars he surpasses CC Sabathia’s 7-year, $161 million deal that runs 2009-15 as the highest paid pitcher...
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