Sunday, January 27, 2013
Odds of a King Felix extension
By Jason Catania
For obvious reasons, the Seattle Mariners would like to lock up Felix Hernandez for the long-term. What's the latest on the endeavor?
While it's not known whether a contract extension offer was ever actually presented to the ace right-hander, the M's were reportedly “at least weighing” a four-year, $100 million proposal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com.
Hernandez, who turns 27 in April, will earn $39.5 million over the next two seasons before being eligible for free agency after 2014. On top of his current contract, a four-year extension would keep Hernandez in Seattle through 2018 and give him $139.5 million over six seasons. That framework would be just shy of the six-year deals signed by both Cole Hamels, who stayed with the Phillies for $144 million last summer, and Zack Greinke, who joined the Dodgers this winter at $147 million.
Alas, while the Cy Young winner and three-time All-Star has often expressed his desire to stay in Seattle, Hernandez is unlikely to settle for an extension of only four years, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes. Heyman adds that it would take at least a six-year offer to get Hernandez to consider signing at this point.
Generally, the closer a player is to free agency, the more money he can extract from his current team on an extension. By comparison, Greinke was on the open market when he signed, while Hamels was merely months out. So if there are already indications that Hernandez, who is a full two seasons from free agency, is seeking more years -- and more money -- it's unlikely he'll be willing to give the Mariners any kind of hometown discount down the road.