The Seattle Mariners really want to hold onto Felix Hernandez for as long as possible. I mean if the seven-year/$175 million contract they agreed to doesn’t say that, then I don’t know what does. According to sources, the deal will be finalized before Spring Training, and he will become the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history with regard to average annual value and total value of a contract (he’s probably celebrating like the above picture right now too). This is overpaying at it’s finest, but the Mariners are obviously desperate to attract top-of-the-line players off the free agent market, and they feel that retaining King Felix is the way to go. The good news for Hernandez? He’ll only be 33 by the time his contract expires.
This signing has already paid off a bit for Seattle, as they were able to convince Joe Saunders to take his talents to the Pacific Northwest on a one-year deal. The southpaw was hoping to find a three-year contract, but no team was willing to go that far for his services this off-season. So, he’ll head to the spacious confines of Safeco Field to boost his value for next winter.
Seattle also finalized their one-year deal with backup catcher Kelly Shoppach, guaranteeing him a salary of $1.5 million this season.
The saga between the Mets and Michael Bourn takes another turn, but we could be headed toward a resolution, as Jim Bowden of ESPN said the Mets first-round pick in this year’s draft (11th overall) would be protected because of flawed language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. There still is plenty to negotiate when we’re talking about signing a Scott Boras client, but this would certainly pave the way to a deal getting done. However, Adam Rubin’s source says the opposite, saying the MLB won’t protect the pick.
While trying to handle this fiasco, New York agreed to a one-year deal with reliever Brandon Lyon, pending a physical. This likely ends the bullpen overhaul this winter for the Amazins.
Jon Lester is entering his final guaranteed season of a five-year/$30 million contract, but that doesn’t mean the Red Sox are planning on extending him before the season starts. After posting a 9-14 record with a 4.82 ERA and 1.38 WHIP in 205.1 IP, I’d say he’s got plenty to prove in Beantown.
Kyle Lohse is still looking for a job, and while it was rumored he’d be a good fit for the Red Sox, signs point to a union not happening. MLB Trade Rumors reports the Sox already have their starting five set for the season, and don’t want to give up the draft pick compensation in exchange for Lohse’s services.
Mike Aviles has had an eventful off-season. The Middletown High School (NY) graduate was traded to Toronto in exchange for manager John Farrell, then was shipped off to the Cleveland Indians. The two sides have agreed to a two-year deal worth $6 million, with an option for 2015, which could bring the total value of the contract to $9.25 million.
The Dodgers would like to discuss an extension with ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw, and Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times says the latest deal for King Felix may make Kershaw the first pitcher to get a contract worth $200 million. With the deep pockets of the Dodgers, this wouldn’t surprise me one bit.
There’s your Hot Stove Notes as we wait patiently for winter storm Nemo to hit the Northeast region. Looks like we’re going to find Nemo afterall.
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