A person familiar with the contract deals spoke about it under condition of anonymity, because the deal has not yet been announced.
USA Today reports that Hernandez was scheduled to earn $19.5 million this year and $20 million next year. Instead, the reported new contract will pay him a record average of $25 million until 2019.
The reported contract trumps CC Sabathia’s seven-year $161 deal before the 2009 season. Should the contract go through, Felix Hernandez will be the highest paid MLB pitcher ever.
The Mariners pitcher initially signed a five-year deal with Seattle in January 2010, which gave him $78 million. He backed up the investment with a 2010 American League Cy Young Award, even though he only won 13 games. But King Felix extended his string of 200-strikeout seasons to four in 2012.
He also established his place among other M’s pitching greats, like Randy Johnson, by pitching a perfect game on August 15. ESPN notes that, should the contract with the 26-year-old Hernandez be finalized, Detroit’s Justin Verlander and the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw would be left as the most attractive pitchers eligible for free agency after 2014.
Hernandez debuted with the Mariners at the age of 19. He will serve as anchor for Seattle’s relatively inexperienced pitching rotation. Hernandez went 13-9 for the season. He had a 3.06 ERA and 223 strikeouts. August 15 was the first perfect game in Mariners history.
Are you glad to see King Felix Hernandez will reportedly be staying with the Mariners until at least 2019?