Reports: M’s, Felix Hernandez agree to five year deal


Update (10:20am): Buster Olney says five years, $80M, or basically A.J. Burnett/John Lackey money.

9:30am: Via Keith Law, the Mariners and ace Felix Hernandez have agreed on a multi-year contract extension that is going to buy out at least the righty’s two remaining years of arbitration eligibility. Jason Churchill hears that the deal could be as long as six years with less than $100M guaranteed, but incentives that could push it up in nine-figure territory.

Many Yankee fans, myself included, were already fitting King Felix for pinstripes even though he wouldn’t have hit free agency for another two years. The Mariners are by no means a small market team, so it was just a matter of whether or not Felix was receptive to signing long-term in lieu of cashing in on the open market. The kid doesn’t turn 24 until April, and if someone offers you nine figures at that age, you take it and set yourself and your kids and your kid’s kids up for life.

If the deal is in fact for six years, he’ll still just be 29 when it expires, which is crazy. Also, he’ll hit free agency just as CC Sabathia‘s contract expires, which is rather convienent.

Categories : Asides


  1. T-Dubs says:

    A single tear rolled down my cheek this morning.

  2. Alex K. says:

    Sucks for us but cool he’s going to stay there. It’d be weird seeing him in another uniform, but I’d gladly take him in Pinstripes any day.

  3. ARX says:

    Damn. If they find a way to hold on to Lee, the rest of the AL West can pretty much forget about it for the next few years. Part of me still hates it when young stars lock themselves into extensions rather than test the market and rake in even more cash, but even with incentives it’s hard to argue with $15M per :-)

  4. Reggie C. says:

    Six years is a long time to wait till Felix Hernandez sees FA again. Till then, Cliff Lee looks to be the best addition and should provide relief if CC pulls a crazy and opts out of the contract.

  5. A.D. says:

    Crazy that he’s getting years bought out and still will be hitting FA as he reaches his prime.

    Felix could be one of the few younger pitchers in the game right now to get 300 wins.

  6. mustang says:

    Lots of broken hearts at RAB.

    Its ok TSJC a couple of more rings and you will forget all about him.

    • whozat says:

      If you’re not a little disappointed that the Yanks won’t have a chance to acquire such a premier talent until 2016 instead of 2010, you aren’t much of a Yankee fan.

      Is this unexpected? Not really. Is it still a little disappointing? Sure.

  7. A.D. says:

    Many Yankee fans, myself included, were already fitting King Felix for pinstripes even though he wouldn’t have hit free agency for another two years.

    Given he already took less money to sign with Seattle once, it was probably somewhat flawed that Yankee dollars will easily buy him if/when he hits free agency.

    • Jamal G. says:

      Yes, but leaving ~$40M on the table to not sign with New York is a bit different than leaving $1-2M on the table to sign with the Venezuelan hero Freddy Garcia’s old club.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

        Who says the difference between the Yanks’ offer and someone else’s offer would be ~$40M, though? The difference between the Yanks offer to Tex and other teams’ offers to Tex wasn’t nearly that large.

      • A.D. says:

        But at the time Felix’s career was far less certain, and that could have been the last significant pay check he was going to get.

        That and I’m not sure the Yanks would be able to blow every other team out of the water on AAV, perhaps on years.

  8. Drew says:

    He didn’t want to be a Bomber anyways..

  9. Rose says:

    Also, he’ll hit free agency just as CC Sabathia’s contract expires, which is rather convienent.

    That all depends on whether or not CC opts out after 2011. If he pitches this year and next year like he did last year (which I’m entirely fine with)…then there’s a good chance he opts out of his deal.

  10. Evilest Empire says:

    Man, that kind of sucks. But its not the end of the world.

    If I was Matt Cain, I’d be pretty happy right about now. With JJ and King Felix off the market, Matt Cain is going to be the biggest FA pitcher available in 2012.

    • Rose says:

      IF everything continues to go smoothly for him. 2012 is a long ways a way…

      Although I wish it wasn’t…because I’ll be getting my MBA in 2012 ughhh

      • Evilest Empire says:

        Yeah, biiiiiiiiig “IF”. Still, Matt Cain is a horse. I’d be feeling pretty good if I were him, he’s well on his way to a 9 digit payday of his own.

  11. theyankeewarrior says:

    Either way, Burnett and CC will both be off the Yankee payroll in 5 years… It’s safe to assume that if he keeps his arm healthy, the Yankees will out-bid the league for him at age 29.

  12. Jake H says:

    Well 2 of the best young starters just got locked for some years. Yankees need to develop their own talent.

  13. Andy in Sunny Daytona says:

    UPDATE reply: He’s no better than John Lackey, anyways. John Lackey shows a bulldog mentality which Felix Hernandex has never shown that he’s had. Right now, the Sox will only offer Tazawa straight up.

    /Boston media’d

  14. ledavidisrael says:

    Wouldn’t it be smart to wait until Lincecum worked out his arbitration matter? If Timmy works himself a fat payday 18-20 million. Felix could have had more leverage.

  15. Riddering says:

    As soon as I saw “King Felix” and “Mariners” across a few tweets this morning, I wept openly.

    But good on the Mariners for making a no-brainer deal to hold into him.

  16. Doug says:

    It’s actually 5/78

    So, he earns $78M, then signs a Sabathia deal when he’s 28. $250M or so over 13 years. not bad. not bad at all

  17. Evilest Empire says:

    Joe Mauer, COME ON DOWN!

    You’re the next contestant on the Yankees’ Price is Right!

  18. The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

    I never participated in the pining for Felix around here because I never thought he’d reach free agency anytime soon. The Mariners’ front office has looked very good the last couple of seasons since they hired Jack Z, and Felix was clearly the player they would build their team around. I always figured that since their F.O. seems smart, Felix is clearly the guy they should build around, and Felix apparently left money on the table to sign in Seattle in the first place, that it made much more sense that a deal would get done before he hit free agency – it was pretty clearly in everyone involved’s best interest.

    So… Yeah, too bad the Yanks won’t get a crack at him in free agency for a few more years, but it was probably just wishful thinking to think they would have anyway.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

      PS: I’m just adding this because I think the comparison further illustrates why I thought it was a pretty safe-bet that Felix wouldn’t reach free agency for a while… I’ve always felt more confident that Felix would sign a long-term deal to stay in Seattle than I have that Mauer will sign a long-term deal to stay in Minnesota before reaching free agency. I’m not saying Mauer will reach free agency, I’m just comparing his situation to Felix’s. I’m less sure with Mauer than I was with Felix because I don’t know that Minnesota’s F.O. will handle this situation the right way because I don’t have as much faith in their F.O. (I don’t think they handled the Johan situation as well as they could have) and because Mauer is not as young as Felix and has dealt with injury issues. It just doesn’t seem like as much of a slam-dunk that the Twins will lock up Mauer before he hits free agency.

      • Doug says:

        new ownership, new stadium, and the fact that the minny fans would stop showing up to games if they don’t resign their native son, make me believe the twins will get it done. i’d actually be quite surprised (almost shocked) if they didn’t

        • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

          Sure. I didn’t say I don’t think they’ll sign Mauer before he reaches free agency, I just said I thought it was more likely Felix would get signed prior to free agency than Mauer.

          • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi says:

            I’ll put it more simply:

            You have:

            Player X, the best young pitcher in the game, who has never missed time due to injury, who is 24 years old, who has already turned down better financial offers in order to play in City 1 and who plays for a team with a seemingly intelligent front office; and you have

            Player Y, the best catcher in the game, who has missed some time due to injuries (nothing too significant but still it must be noted) and who is 27 years old and is playing in City 2, his hometown, for a team with a pretty well-respected front office that has, however, already performed sub-optimally when handling another high-profile player’s contract/trade situation.

            I think they’ll both be signed by their current teams prior to reaching free agency. I also think it’s more likely that Player X will be signed prior to reaching free agency than Player Y.

  19. on the plus side, it seems very unlikely that lee will return to the Mariners in 2011 now.

  20. AndrewYF says:

    At least this will stop the retarded Felix-to-Boston rumors.

    And we can finally kill the Felix-for-Lowrie jokes.

  21. pete says:

    So now is CC pretty much guaranteed to opt out? It seems unlikely that he’d really get a better deal. maybe an extension, but i doubt he’d top his AAV when he’s 32

    • Reggie C. says:

      I agree. Except, there’s a chance that should the Yankees win another championship in 2010 or ’11 … or both … CC’s desire to remain on a perennial winner could lessen. He’d have multiple rings and could decide to return home and risk landing an inferior contract.

  22. king of fruitless hypotheticals says:


    • king of fruitless hypotheticals says:

      DOH. Sorry. this post is made of so much fantasticness, that i prematurely posted.

      so when there is no Wii 2, and Nintendo can’t pony up the dough to keep the M’s competitive, they’ll be trading Felix away with two years left on his contract, which by then, will be pretty cheap for dominating pitchers.

      Start restocking the farm system now, because it will take 2 big names and one mediocre one to get the deal closed.


  23. [...] First it was Felix Hernandez, and now another drool-worthy future free agent target is off the market. Via MLBTR, AL MVP Joe Mauer has agreed to a 10-year contract extension with the Twins, locking him up until the ripe old age of 37. No word on the money yet, but I would think it’s over $200M. Good for him, good for the Twins, bad for the Yanks. Posted on Monday, February 1st, 2010 at 4:20 pm in Asides, Hot Stove League. RSS feed | Trackback URI [...]

  24. [...] was one of many Yankee fans patiently waiting for The Justin Upton to hit free agency, however just like Felix Hernandez and Seattle, Upton is signing long-term to stay in Arizona. The 22-year-old is set to receive a six year deal [...]

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.