YouWager experts learned that Felix Hernandez has now agreed to a five-year, $135.5 million contract extension with the Seattle Mariners.
The extension will keep King Felix, already under contract to make $39.5 million over the next two years, playing with Seattle through the 2019 MLB season.
The 26 year-old slugger will make an average annual salary of $27.1 million over the extension, the highest average salary given to a pitcher in baseball history other than Roger Clemens’ $28 million prorated salary in 2007.
Records show that 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.
Mariners’ general manager Jack Zduriencik said he could not comment when reached Thursday and there wasn’t any response from Hernandez’s representatives either.
If the deal is finalized, it would leave Detroit Tigers’ Justin Verlander and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw as the most attractive pitchers eligible for free agency after the 2014 baseball season. Tampa Bay’ Rays’ David Price is eligible after the 2015 season.
Hernandez has become the face of the Mariners struggling team, transforming from a curly-haired 19-year-old who wore his hat crooked to one of the most dominant and exciting pitchers in baseball.
The Venezuela native went 13-9 with a 3.06 ERA and 223 strikeouts last season, his fourth consecutive campaign with at least 200 strikeouts. The starting pitcher had the first perfect game in Mariners history on Aug. 15, striking out 12 in a 1-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.