SEATTLE – Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners are working on a $175 million, seven-year contract that would make him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball, according to a person with knowledge of the deal’s details.
The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been completed. USA Today first reported the deal.
Seattle would add $134.5 million of guaranteed money over five years to the contract of the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, whose current agreement calls for him to receive $40.5 million over the next two seasons.
Hernandez’s total dollars would top CC Sabathia’s original $161 million, seven-year contract with the New York Yankees and his $25 million average would surpass Zack Greinke’s $24.5 million under his new contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and tie him for the second-highest in baseball with Josh Hamilton and Ryan Howard behind Alex Rodriguez ($27.5 million). Hernandez’s new money would average $26.9 million over five years.
Hernandez agreed to a $78 million, five-year contract in January 2010 and has earned an additional $2.5 million in escalators and $300,000 in bonuses. He is due $20 million this year and $20.5 million in 2014, which would be superseded by the new deal.
Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said he’s concerned about the latest drug allegations swirling around third baseman Alex Rodriguez but that the matter is being looked at by Major League Baseball.
The Miami New Times reported late last month that the three-time AL MVP bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances in recent years from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed clinic in Coral Cables, near Rodriguez’s offseason home.
Speaking on Friday at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Fla., Steinbrenner said the situation is a concern, but it’s out of our hands.
We will cooperate with MLB in any way we can, any way we’re asked to, he said. But other than that, there’s not much to say. I don’t know any more than you do.
Rodriguez has denied the allegations.
Around the leagues
Infielder Mike Aviles and the Indians agreed Thursday to a $6 million, two-year contract that includes a club option for 2015. Aviles was acquired from Toronto in November.
The Cardinals and 2011 World Series MVP David Freese reached an agreement on a one-year contract that avoids salary arbitration.
The Mets signed reliever Brandon Lyon to a one-year deal. The Diamondbacks and second baseman Aaron Hill reached a deal that will keep him under contract through the 2016 season.