Felix Hernandez has agreed to a seven-year, $175 million contract with the Mariners, according to USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. The deal reportedly should be finalized before spring training, and it will make Hernandez the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history.
Hernandez will reportedly earn $25 million annually as part of the deal, which will run through the 2019 season. The 26-year-old was slated to make $19.5 million in 2013 and $20 million in 2014 before signing the extension, which exceeds the length of the deal Seattle was reportedly considering offering earlier this offseason.
In signing Hernandez to the megadeal, the Mariners now have one of the best pitchers in baseball for the foreseeable future. The three-time All-Star won the Cy Young award in 2010, when he compiled a sparkling 2.27 ERA over 249 2/3 innings. Hernandez finished second in Cy Young voting the year prior, and he finished fourth this past season, when he posted a 13-9 record an a 3.06 ERA.
Hernandez has exceeded the 190-inning mark each of the last seven seasons, and has surpassed the 200-inning plateau each of the last five. He’s also had more than 200 strikeouts each of his last four campaigns.
There was some question as to whether Hernandez would opt to let his current deal expire and then test the open market, but the righty has said that he loves playing in Seattle. Apparently, he wasn’t bluffing.
Hernandez’s reported deal blows past the seven-year, $161 million contract the Yankees gave to CC Sabathia before the 2010 season.