When word hit that the Seattle Mariners were offering Felix Hernandez a 7-year, $175 million extension, a number of usual suspects came out of the woodworks to claim that it was too much money. Many people are under the assumption that high-dollar contracts never work out, as they tend to be paying players for what they have done in the past as opposed to the future.
However, this is not necessarily true. In fact, there are several nine-figure deals that have worked out just fine for all parties:
9. Cliff Lee, Phillies
5 years, $120 million from 2011-15
Don’t let the won-loss record fool you: Cliff Lee was one of the NL’s best pitchers last season.
While discussions of a new deal have apparently hit a snag, it still appears likely that the Seattle Mariners will eventually come to terms on a contract extension that will make Felix Hernandez the highest-paid pitcher in baseball.
There might not be a player in baseball happier about that than Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander, whose “Holy cow” reaction to Felix’s contract perfectly sums up how he should be feeling. Verlander, after all, now has a starting point for negotiating what could be the sport’s next mega-contract.
It looks like the King’s Court will reign in Seattle for the next decade.
Earlier today, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported that Felix Hernandez has signed a 7-year, $175 million extension that will keep him with the Seattle Mariners through the 2019 season. The deal is the largest ever signed by a pitcher, surpassing the 7-year, $161 million deal signed by CC Sabathia of the New York Yankees prior to the 2010 season.
UPDATE: It is being reported by ESPN that Felix's contract extension is for 5 years at $135 million and will begin following the 2014 season.
But will Felix Hernandez be worth the money?
The alleged reaction of Alex Rodriguez to MLB’s latest PED scandal really is a sight to behold.
According to the New York Daily News, the Yankee third baseman now believes that the team and perhaps MLB in general is out to get him, having framed A-Rod as part of the latest PED crackdown in an effort to push him out of the game. The Yanks are reportedly looking for a way to void the remaining years on A-Rod’s contract, and the latest PED issues are seen as a possible excuse for the team to do just that.
It is fairly easy to dismiss these claims as little more than paranoia, especially considering A-Rod’s record on PED usage and his general lack of self-awareness.
At the same time, the issue that A-Rod brings up is exactly why baseball should be weary about making termination of contract an option for punishing PED users.
While much of the nation was focused on preparing for the Super Bowl last Friday, ESPN’s Jim Caple instead had his eyes on baseball and the latest trend of the statistical revolution.
In the article, Caple takes a closer look at Wins Above Replacement (WAR, for short) and how it ended up causing baseball’s latest statistical Holy War in this year’s MVP debate. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels had the statheads on his side, leading the league in WAR (among other stats) by a significant margin. Voters, however, elected to go with Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers, who led the league in batting average, home runs, and RBI to become the game’s first Triple Crown winner in 45 years.