Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era
Mariners working to keep Hernandez New deal could be worth $175 million ASSOCIATED PRESS
Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners are working on a $175 million, seven-year contract that would make him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball, according to a person with knowledge of the deal's details.
The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been completed. USA Today first reported the deal.
Seattle would add $134.5 million of guaranteed money over five years to the contract of the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, whose current agreement calls for him to receive $40.5 million over the next two seasons.
Hernandez's total dollars would top CC Sabathia's original $161 million, seven-year contract with the New York Yankees and his $25 million average would surpass Zack Greinke's $24.5 million under his new contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and tie him for the second-highest in baseball with Josh Hamilton and Ryan Howard behind Alex Rodriguez ($27.5 million). Hernandez's new money would average $26.9 million over five years.
Hernandez agreed to a $78 million, five-year contract in January 2010 and has earned an additional $2.5 million in escalators and $300,000 in bonuses. He is due $20 million this year and $20.5 million in 2014, which would be superseded by the new deal.
If the deal is finalized, it would leave Detroit's Justin Verlander and the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw as the most attractive pitchers eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.
Hernandez, who will turn 27 on April 8, is 98-76 with a 3.22 ERA in eight seasons with the Mariners. He won a career-high 19 games in 2009 when he finished second in the Cy Young voting then won the award a year later when he went just 13-12 but had a 2.27 ERA and 232 strikeouts.
Hernandez appeared to be making another Cy Young push last year before going 0-4 in his last six starts, which left him at 13-9 with 223 strikeouts.
Steinbrenner defers to MLB: Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner says he's concerned about the latest drug allegations swirling around third baseman Alex Rodriguez, but that the matter is being looked at by Major League Baseball.
The Miami New Times reported late last month that the three-time AL MVP bought human growth hormone and other performance-enhancing substances in recent years from Biogenesis of America LLC, a now-closed clinic in Coral Cables, near Rodriguez's offseason home.
Speaking on Friday at the Yankees' minor league complex, Steinbrenner said the situation is "a concern, but it's out of our hands."
"We will cooperate with MLB in any way we can, any way we're asked to," he said. "But other than that, there's not much to say. I don't know any more than you do."
Rodriguez has denied the allegations. He admitted four years ago that he used PEDs from 2001-03.
The Yankees signed one-time Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis to fill in for Rodriguez, who is sidelined for at least the first half of the season after hip surgery Jan. 16.
The Yankees are still looking to reduce the 2014 payroll to the $189 million luxury tax threshold.
D-backs sign Hill: The Arizona Diamondbacks and Aaron Hill have reached a deal that will keep him under contract through the 2016 season.
The deal adds three years and $35 million to his existing deal, which pays him $5.5 million this year. That means the overall contract is worth $40.5 million over the next four years.
The 30-year-old second baseman hit a career-high .302 with 26 home runs, 44 doubles and 85 RBIs last season, earning him a Silver Slugger award, the first for a Diamondbacks infielder.
The deal follows an agreement last week between Arizona and newly acquired third baseman Martin Prado on a four-year, $40 million contract.
Lyon to Mets: The Mets have signed reliever Brandon Lyon to a one-year deal.
The right-hander spent last season with the Astros and Blue Jays. He went 4-2 with a 3.10 ERA in 61 innings, with a save and 63 strikeouts.