Originally written on Rumors and Rants  |  Last updated 2/10/13

The Internet exploded when it was reported last week that the Seattle Mariners were about to sign pitcher Felix Hernandez to a seven-year, $175 million deal. Though the reported deal IS huge, there’s no denying that Hernandez has been a workhorse and the team needs him if they’re ever going to be anything other than the crapfest they are now. Now, various outlets are reporting that the extension may be on hold because the Mariners have reservations about Hernandez’s elbow, among other things. The negotiations are not as finalized as the earlier reports made it seem, either: “But as of Sunday afternoon, sources say, the Mariners and Hernandez are not close to finishing an extension, because there are issues that the two sides are sorting through.” More accurately, the team is (rightly) concerned that Hernandez’s elbow may explode at some point during the life of that contract and the team would still be on the hook for $25 million a season until it expires. That would be double-plus un-good in financial terms for the Mariners. Apparently, the two sides have worked out the general idea, but have yet to figure out all the tiny details that never get reported. It just so happens that with this deal being so huge, the team being concerned about his physical abilities down the road is a somewhat new thing in baseball. It used to be that teams just extended their stars, paid them whatever they wanted, and then hoped for the best. But that was before the Mark Teixeira deal, the C.C. Sabathia deal, and the Alex Rodriguez deal. Even the great Yankees are now hamstrung by their formerly free-spending ways, which means other MLB teams have to be even more cost-effective. It’s also interesting that the only other pitchers to throw as many innings before the age of 27 as Hernandez are Doc Gooden, Fernando Valenzuela, and Bert Blyleven. Two of those pitchers flamed out gloriously and returned later only as shells of their former selves. Blyleven is a hall of famer who pitched for a long time in the majors. I’m not sure the Mariners like those 1 in 3 odds with their young superstar. Also, based on the way the Yankees have reacted to further PED allegations being leveled at A-Rod, I’m wondering if the Mariners aren’t looking at Hernandez’s performance a little more cockeyed since it is becoming clear once again that professional sports leagues are eons behind the scientists who come up with new types of performance-enhancing drugs for athletes. Now that MLB is going to begin blood testing for things like HGH and extra testosterone, big contracts like this are even more of a risk. The suspensions for PED use are unpaid, but when the athlete comes back to action and no longer is as good as they used to be because they can’t cheat anymore, $25 million sucks a lot to have to pay. This obviously doesn’t mean Hernandez is a drug cheat. But this is the 21st century now. The age of trusting athletes to stay healthy or not cheat is long since over. Hernandez definitely deserves to be paid like one of the top pitchers in baseball, and I’m sure his agent will advocate for every possible dollar. But the risk is on the side of the team now, whereas it used to be on the player before the best players were paid so much money. He also has two years left on his current deal, so there is time for negotiations. There might even be time for the Mariners to sober up a little since they probably shouldn’t be paying A-Rod money to a guy who plays once every fifth day while the team kind of sucks. I’m just saying.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Legal expert: NFL's reported offer to Brady 'really ridiculous'

Seguin called out by former Maple Leafs CEO for partying

No suspension for Sarkisian was made in best interest of USC

Jim Tomsula disputes report Jarryd Hayne has made 49ers

Report: Brady case judge once vacated CBA violation ruling

Why no. 4 Baylor will and won't win the National Championship

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Is D'Angelo Russell in over his head?

Percy Harvin voices support for Tyrod Taylor

Richardson pleads not guilty to traffic, resisting arrest charges

Andrew Luck tried not to watch Super Bowl, was still ‘salty’

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Former USC linebacker suing school over insurance policy

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.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Opening Drive: Jamal Anderson warns UM fans before heading to Salt Lake City

Best and worst MLB players in August

RG3 blames intern for liking Instagram post trashing owner

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Urban Meyer won't announce QB before season

Teammates relieved RG3 was benched?

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker