King Felix locked up
After declaring this offseason that it was his goal to keep Felix Hernandez a Mariner for life, Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik seems to have done just that.
As reported by USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, the Seattle Mariners have agreed to sign Felix Hernandez to a new seven-year, $175 million deal.
The deal will replace Hernandez’s previous contract, which had two more years on it. In total, the contract will keep Hernandez a Mariner through the 2019 season.
With an average salary of $25 million a year, Hernandez is set to become the highest paid pitcher in baseball history.
It has been highly speculated at times that—for the right price—Hernandez could be acquired through trade. But after taking over in 2008, Jack-Z has been fairly adamant about holding onto his ace.
Felix Hernandez celebrates his perfect game in 2012.
As long as this deal goes through, it seems that will be the case. In just two more seasons Hernandez will receive his ten-and-five rights, adding a full no-trade clause to his contract.
The right-hander was originally signed as an amateur free agent by the Mariners in 2002. Three years later he’d make his MLB debut as a 19-year-old.
Now 26, Hernandez has been the lone constant in Seattle’s rotation for the last eight seasons.
In that time, he’s gone 98-76 with a 3.22 ERA and 3.10 K/BB, while averaging 203 innings and 186 strikeouts a season. The four-time All-Star won the 2010 Cy Young, while finishing in the top-five in voting in 2009 and 2012.
During the 2012 season, Hernandez pitched a perfect game, the first no-hitter of his career and the first perfect game in Seattle Mariner history.
With Ichiro Suzuki traded during the 2012 offseason, Hernandez has become the new face of the franchise. Days in which he starts are often referred to as Felix Day, and there’s a special section in Safeco dubbed the “King’s Court.”
Hernandez will be 33 years old by the end his new contract. As long as things go well over the next seven seasons, there’s a very real chance he could be in for one more extension at that time.
In theory, both contracts could take him to retirement.
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