Felix Hernandez Gets A Bunch Of Money From The Mariners; Everyone Rejoices
First, Bob Nightengale delivers the news of the year:
Yes, King Felix has agreed to a seven-year deal, which wipes out the two years remaining on his last deal. Felix is now signed through the 2019 season, for more money than any pitcher has ever made before. Felix’s contract smokes C.C. Sabathia’s seven-year, $161 million pact dollar wise, and eclipses Zack Greinke’s $24.5 million average annual value by half of a million dollars.
Let’s be honest. Felix is better than both of those guys, and is only going to be 27-years-old next season. Greinke and Sabathia both signed their deals at an older age than Felix, and never were quite the caliber of pitcher that Felix has been for the past three or four seasons. Felix probably could have gotten close to $30 million per year–or more–on the open market, so he’s giving the Mariners a bit of a discount in exchange for security; he gets his guaranteed mega-contract two years before free agency.
This move also should show other players that the Mariners are serious about trying to win. They will throw large amounts of dollars at you if you are a superstar player, that has been established. Also, other players contemplating Seattle no longer have to wonder if Felix is going to be there two years from now. They now know if they sign with the Mariners, most likely, Felix will be there as long as they will.
Finally, Felix’s salary only goes up $5 million in average annual value. He essentially has the same impact on the payroll in future years as he was going to already, so this deal doesn’t really hold the Mariners back from spending big money on other players. Seven years is a huge risk on any pitcher–they can fall apart at any moment. But if any pitcher is worth this kind of money, it’s Felix Hernandez. He’s the face of the franchise, the first true icon for the Mariners since an in-his-prime Ichiro, and it looks like he’s well on his way to being the first career Mariner since Edgar Martinez. It’s a risk, like any pitcher, but it’s a risk the Mariners have to take. It’s an excellent day to be a Mariners fan.
Felix is ours, and you can’t have him.