Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 1/22/13
Felix Hernandez is one of the best pitchers in baseball, and the Mariners might not be opposed to paying him as such. According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, the Mariners continue to talk to Hernandez about a contract extension, and they’re “at least weighing” a four-year, $100 million proposal. Rosenthal reports that it’s not known whether the Mariners have made Hernandez such an offer, but no deal is close at the moment. A source reportedly described the two sides as “dancing,” but not completely engaged. Hernandez, whose current deal runs through 2014, has made it clear that he loves playing in Seattle. One has to think that the 26-year-old could be in line to land a monster deal, though, so perhaps he’ll opt to test the open market after his current contract expires, which might not bode well for the Mariners’ chances of securing the right-hander past 2014. As Rosenthal points out, a four-year, $100 million extension tacked on to the two years still remaining on Hernandez’s current contract would put his deal at $139.5 million over six years. Zack Greinke and Cole Hamels — whose deals might become benchmarks throughout the Hernandez-Mariners negotiations — recently signed a six-year pacts. Greinke’s contract is worth $147 million over those six years, while Hamels is in line to rake in $144 million. Hernandez has earned four straight All-Star selections, and was named the American League Cy Young in 2010. He also finished second in Cy Young voting in 2009, and finished fourth last season, when he went 13-9 with a 3.06 ERA in 33 starts. When you factor in his age and durability — seven straight seasons with at least 190 innings — it’s easy to see why he might just be the most prized pitcher in baseball. Neither side has commented on a potential extension.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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