Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners $175 Million Deal On Hold

“King Felix” is apparently not quite ready to be crowned with a new contract.

The seven-year, $175 million contract between Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners has reportedly hit a snag.

Hernandez, who pitches right handed, may have a problem with his right elbow that reportedly is preventing the contract extension from being finalized. His present contract runs for two more years, so there isn’t necessarily any immediate urgency to resolve this matter.

There are, however, unconfirmed rumors that the Mariners’ ace pitcher failed a physical. Neither the team or Hernandez’s agent would comment. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told the Seattle Times that “I’m just not going to comment on that while negotiations are ongoing. That’s our policy. We don’t comment on any of that stuff.”

ESPN claims that the condition of Hernandez’s elbow may or may not be a deal-breaker:

“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.

“The elbow issue is perceived by at least one of the parties in the deal as being a possible impediment to the completion of the new contract.

” ‘It’s an issue,’ said one source.”

Hernandez is reporting to the Mariners Arizona Spring Training facility on Tuesday along with the rest of the team’s pitches and catchers.

With that in mind, Zduriencik told MLB.com today that all is well:

“He’s coming down tonight and will be here to get his physical and we’ll get rolling. I’m not going to comment on any of that other stuff. It’s ridiculous. I’ve watched him at the ballpark [Safeco Field] for the last month or so throwing and he’s his normal self.”

A separate account in the Seattle Times raised some questions about the state of Hernandez’s health, however.

“All we know is, the contract has not been announced, there have been rumblings since yesterday about Hernandez having some type of physical issue. We know that the pitcher’s agent told a reporter Hernandez will not be participating in the World Baseball Classic as previously planned. And we have this afternoon’s report by Buster Olney mentioning an issue with Hernandez’s elbow. Then, we have Zduriencik declining to comment when asked point-blank whether Hernandez failed a physical or not.”