Felix Hernandez agrees to richest pitcher contract in history, signs for 7 years with the Mariners

Does King Felix's contract mean he's staying in Seattle for the long haul?

2/7/13 in MLB   |   Pat   |   5232 respect

Sep 19, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) pitches to the Baltimore Orioles during the 2nd inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY SportsFelix Hernandez has been one of the greatest pitchers in baseball for a few years, and he's finally getting rewarded, now that he has signed the richest contract in MLB history for a pitcher.

Hernandez and the Mariners have agreed to a 7-year deal worth $175 million, for an average of $25M per year.

This is definitely a great move by the Mariners, who have long relied on King Felix to be their best pitcher, their biggest draw, and occasionally their ONLY talented player on the roster.

But will this silence the seemingly omnipresent rumors about a trade to the Yankees, Red Sox, or some other big-market team?

Not necessarily.

While it seems like Hernandez likes it in Seattle, and now he's guaranteed to be paid like the legitimate ace that he is, this deal definitely doesn't take him completely off the table for other teams who might be interested in his services.

We don't know the full details of the deal, and it's safe to assume that some sort of no-trade clause is included, so Hernandez would certainly have to approve of any deal. Even without a no-trade clause, he's nearing his 10/5 eligibility (10 years of MLB service, last 5 with the same team) so he'll be able to reject any deal in 2014 or later, regardless of any clause that may or may not be included in his contract.

This deal doesn't necessarily guarantee that he'll be in Seattle for the next 7 years. It merely guarantees that he'll be paid $175M over that period.

If a team was going to trade for King Felix before this deal was signed, they'd really only be trading for 2 guaranteed seasons of his services, since his previous deal was set to expire in 2014.

Now, with a contract through 2019, Felix's value is much more concrete, and teams know that they'll be able to retain his services long-term if they happen to be fortunate enough to acquire him in a trade.

Am I saying he'll definitely be traded? Absolutely not. But don't be too quick to assume that he WON'T be traded, if the Mariners continue to fail in their ongoing rebuilding process.
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2/7/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Jess wrote:
I knew as soon as I typed it I was going to catch something from either you or Kramer. 

As for your other comment ...well this blog kind of says it all; people still believe that even after a young star is locked up in a long contract they still could easily be headed out to NY, Boston, or LA for the right price.

Well, note who wrote the piece. cheeky

2/7/13   |   Jess   |   34856 respect

Eric_ wrote:
The Orioles and Pirates scoff at that.

I knew as soon as I typed it I was going to catch something from either you or Kramer. 

As for your other comment ...well this blog kind of says it all; people still believe that even after a young star is locked up in a long contract they still could easily be headed out to NY, Boston, or LA for the right price.

2/7/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Any contract that large carries a significant risk, especially but King Felix is as worth that risk as any other player in baseball. I'm glad to see another young star locked up. Maybe people will finally realize that's the norm now, and not every young star is automatically ticketed to New York, Boston, or LA.

2/7/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Jess wrote:
"ongoing rebuilding process" - *sigh*. You'd think it would take a team less than 12 years to rebuild. 

The Orioles and Pirates scoff at that.

2/7/13   |   Dream_Machine   |   13259 respect

Felix "will definitely" retire a lifelong Mariner. It's not so often you get a player that loves the team and city he plays in, and the team in regards to his contract, does so in return.

2/7/13   |   Scott   |   53679 respect

I can't believe this guy is "only" 26 and I hope he doesn't become the Ernie Banks of the American League

2/7/13   |   Jess   |   34856 respect

"ongoing rebuilding process" - *sigh*. You'd think it would take a team less than 12 years to rebuild.