King Felix just became the king of the contract hill.
Felix Hernandez, the Seattle Mariners' ace, has agreed to a new seven-year, $175 million extension with the team, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale. The deal is not finalized yet, but should be before spring training opens.
The contract makes Hernandez both the highest-paid pitcher in baseball and the new owner of the highest overall contact signed by a pitcher, topping CC Sabathia's $161 million deal. The new deal would go into effect immediately and pay $25 million annually through 2019.
Oh, it's nice to be the king.
Hernandez, the 2010 Cy Young winner, had another stellar 2012 season, which included a 3.06 ERA and a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Beyond the eyeball-popping numbers and the sigh of relief for Mariners fans, this contract also signals a new benchmark for top pitchers. Look for keeping-up-with-the-Hernandezes contacts, particularly when it's time for Clayton Kershaw and David Price to ink new long-term deals.
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