A report says the Mariners are close to signing ace pitcher Felix Hernandez to a whopping new contract.
According to a tweet from Bob Nightengale of USA Today, a record seven-year, $175 million deal between Hernandez and the Mariners "will soon be official."
The $25 million average over those seven seasons would make Hernandez one of the MLB's highest paid players. The total value of the contract would surpass CC Sabathia's $161 million deal with the Yankees as the richest for a pitcher in MLB history.
Hernandez had two years remaining on what was considered a club-friendly, five-year deal he signed before the 2010 season. He was scheduled to make $39.5 million over those two seasons, so if the report is accurate, Hernandez's new deal would include $135.5 million in new money.
The Mariners have not confirmed the deal. According to 710 ESPN Seattle's Shannon Drayer, Hernandez's agents are in Seattle, as is general manager Jack Zduriencik, who flew back from Arizona.
Hernandez is a three-time All-Star, a Cy Young Award winner and the author of a perfect game – quite the resume for a player who hasn't turned 27 years old.
He's consistently expressed a desire to remain with the Mariners despite the club's stretch of futility, and Zduriencik has been equally steadfast in his public remarks about wanting to keep Hernandez in a Mariners uniform despite the haul a player of his talent could net in a trade.
We will have more details on this story as they become available.