Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that the Seattle Mariners continue to maintain there has been no agreement on a contact extension with starting pitcher Felix Hernandez, and that the team insists yesterday’s reports that the club and player had reached a deal were inaccurate and premature.
The story quotes Tim Hevly, Seattle’s director of baseball information, as stating that the Mariners have been consistent in their position that “no announcement is planned or imminent.” However, the quote speaks only to the announcement of a deal, and what is more telling is what has not been said – whether Hernandez and Seattle have reached an agreement on the terms of a contract extension.
My take: it’s likely that Hernandez and the Mariners have agreed in principal to the seven-year, $175 million dollar contract that was first reported by Bob Nightengale at USA TODAY Sports, but Seattle is not willing to make an official announcement until all the details have been worked out and the deal is finalized.
For the Mariners, pitchers and catchers report to spring training on February 12. I fully expect Hevly to plan and make an announcement that Seattle will be making Hernandez the richest player in MLB history by that date.