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BASEBALL

Ace, Seattle agree on record deal

– Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners have reached agreement on a $175 million, seven-year contract that will make him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball.

The Mariners announced the sides had reached agreement on the deal Tuesday afternoon. Hernandez and general manager Jack Zduriencik will hold a news conference in Seattle today, where Hernandez is expected to sign the contract.

Earlier Tuesday, Zduriencik said the sides were having significant talks to try to finalize a new contract for the three-time All-Star and 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner.

There had been speculation and reports about an injury to Hernandez’s pitching elbow that could be slowing the negotiations. Zduriencik said earlier in the day that a deal of that magnitude in years and dollars, “takes time to work things out.”

Later, the team announced it had signed left-hander Joe Saunders to a one-year contract with a mutual option which could be worth $16.5 million total.

Reds moves

Right-hander Mat Latos has agreed to an $11.5 million, two-year contract with Cincinnati. Latos, a former TinCaps player, will receive salaries of $4.25 million this year and $7.25 million in 2014 under Tuesday’s deal.

Latos went 14-4 with a 3.48 ERA and two complete games in 33 starts.

Third baseman Scott Rolen, 37, declined the Reds’ offer to attend spring training to compete for a reserve role.

The seven-time All-Star has been limited each of the last three seasons by a shoulder problem and back spasms. He batted .245 in 92 games last season with eight homers and 39 RBI.

Gonzalez maintains he hasnít used PEDs

Gio Gonzalez arrived at spring training with Washington and maintained he has not used performance-enhancing drugs.

The Miami New Times reported last month that Gonzalez was among a half-dozen major league players listed as receiving PEDs in purported records of Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Fla. Gonzalez hopes to be exonerated.

“I feel very confident,” the 27-year-old left hander said. “I think that at the end of the day I’ve never taken performance-enhancing drugs, and I never will.”

Mariners catcher Jesus Montero again denied any involvement with Biogenesis of America LLC.

Montero said he didn’t know why his name popped up in the records.

“I don’t have anything to do with those people. I know my agency is handling everything. I don’t know anything about it,” Montero said.

Montero, 23, batted .260 with 15 home runs and 62 RBI last season.

Around the leagues

Oakland and free agent left-hander Hideki Okajima have finalized a minor league contract after he passed a physical. …

Didi Gregorius, considered Arizona’s shortstop of the future, has a slight strain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow injury. …

New York Mets closer Frank Francisco is bothered by the same elbow inflammation that ended his 2012 season on Sept. 16. …

Alex Rodriguez will not report to spring training with the Yankees’ position players and will work on his rehabilitation from hip surgery in New York. …

Kansas City acquired utility player Elliott Johnson from Tampa Bay as the player to be named in the Dec. 9 trade that sent James Shields and Wade Davis to Kansas City for top prospects Wil Myers and Jake Odorizzi.

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