The Seattle Mariners are no closer to completing a seven-year, $175 million contract extension for right-handed ace Felix Hernandez over concerns with the condition of his throwing elbow, ESPN reported Sunday.
A source told ESPN that Hernandez's elbow is "an issue."
However, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik told MLB.com on Sunday that Hernandez has been throwing normally for the last month. Zduriencik also said Hernandez would report with the other pitchers and catchers as expected on Tuesday.
"He's coming down tonight and will be here to get his physical, and we'll get rolling," Zduriencik said from Peoria, Ariz. "I'm not going to comment on any of that other stuff. It's ridiculous. I've watched him at [Safeco Field] for the last month or so throwing, and he's his normal self."
Hernandez is skipping the World Baseball Classic, mainly because of the pending record-setting deal, according to CBS Sports. Hernandez is listed on Venezuela's provisional roster.
He has pitched in 1620 1/3 innings over his career. Only Bert Blyleven, Fernando Valenzuela and Dwight Gooden have thrown more innings before their 27th birthday since 1969, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
The Mariners could protect themselves by stipulating medical exceptions in the contract, much like the New York Yankees did when they signed ace CC Sabathia to an extension late in 2011.
Hernandez still has two years left on his contract with the Mariners.