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Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

February 7, 2013 at 11:33 AM

Report: Felix Hernandez agrees to $175 million deal

There’s another news burst this morning involving the Mariners, but it is a lot more pleasant than the one yesterday about Jesus Montero.

Bob Nightengale of USA Today is reporting that Mariners ace Felix Hernandez has agreed to a seven-year, $175 million contract that “should be finalized before spring training.” Since spring training starts next Tuesday with pitchers and catchers reporting, that means the announcement wouldn’t be far away.

The deal would make Hernandez, who turns 27 on April 8, the highest paid pitcher in history. According to USA Today, the new contract would replace the final two years of his existing contract, due to pay Hernandez $20 million the next two years. Instead, the new contract would take effect this year and pay him an average annual value of $25 million through 2019.

Hernandez won the Cy Young Award in 2010 and was a favorite to do so again last year until he finished the season with an 0-4 record and 6.62 ERA over his final six starts. Hernandez went 13-9 with a 3.06 ERA in a season highlighted by a perfect game against Tampa Bay on Aug. 15.

The previous top contract for a pitcher was by CC Sabathia, a seven-year, $161 million deal from the Yankees before 2010 season. The previous high annual value was $24.5 million for Zack Greinke in the six-year, $147-million deal he signed in December with the Dodgers.

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