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Associated Press
Seattle’s Felix Hernandez signed a seven-year extension with the team that makes him the highest-paid pitcher in the major leagues.
Baseball

Mariners give pitcher richest deal

– Fighting back tears while his hands trembled, Felix Hernandez signed a seven-year contract with the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday that made him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball.

Hernandez officially completed his new deal during a news conference. The $175 million pact covered the final two years of his existing deal that was scheduled to run through the 2014 season and added five additional years through the 2019 season.

The contract is fully guaranteed, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. Hernandez also got a full no-trade clause, the first one ever given by the team.

“To the people in Seattle, to all the people in Seattle that trust me, that believe in me I will not disappoint anybody,” Hernandez said, his voice cracking.

Word of Hernandez and the Mariners working on the mega-contract first leaked late last week. Reportedly, a medical exam revealed some concerns about the 26-year-old’s elbow in the future, but Zduriencik said Hernandez got a “clear bill of health” from Mariners physicians before finalizing the deal.

“When you invest you ask yourself, ‘What are you investing in?’ ” Zduriencik said.

“This is our guy, we know him better than anybody.”

Hernandez’s total dollars would top CC Sabathia’s original $161 million, seven-year contract with the Yankees. His new money would average $26.9 million over five years. The $25 million-a-year average would surpass Zack Greinke’s $24.5 million under his new contract with the Dodgers

Decision looms on Rivera retirement

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera says he’s decided whether this will be his final season and plans to announce it by opening day.

“Yes, I have,” Rivera said. “But again, I will tell you guys when I think it’s the right moment.”

The 43-year-old reliever had surgery June 12 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Reds’ Cueto ready

Johnny Cueto says he’s fully recovered from the injury that scuttled his playoffs after only eight pitches. The right-hander pulled muscles in his right side during the first game of the Reds’ playoff series against the Giants.

Around the leagues

White Sox manager Robin Ventura turned down a one-year contract extension in October, wanting to concentrate on the two years remaining on his deal. … Infielder Brandon Inge agreed to a minor league contract from the Pirates. … Daisuke Matsuzaka, 32, has officially joined the Indians. … Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli says he consulted with Biogenesis of America LLC after a foot injury but did not receive any treatment from the facility.

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