Hernandez signs largest contract ever for a pitcher.
Confirmed in an emotional press conference, Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez has signed a new seven-year deal worth $175 million.
The new deal makes Hernandez the highest paid pitcher in baseball, and will undoubtedly come as a relief for the 26-year-old who made clear his desire to remain in Seattle.
Affectionately known by the Mariner fans as ‘King Felix’, Hernandez had to pause on several occasions to gain his composure during the press conference and was delighted to have signed the deal.
“I always say that this is my home. This is my life. To all the people in Seattle that trust me and believe in me, I will say this: I will not disappoint you,” he told reporters.
The process of signing the new deal appeared to have hit a glitch last week, when there were concerns over the state of Hernandez’s elbow. However, any fears were quickly dismissed after team doctors gave him a clean bill of health and talks continued.
The Mariners have gone more than a decade since last reaching the post-season, but in Hernandez they have hopes to build around. He is 98-76 with a 3.22 ERA in eight seasons in Seattle, and has now twice decided to turn down free agency in order to stay in Seattle.
With the fans, his team-mates, the Mariners hierarchy and Hernandez himself all delighted with the news, Seattle will now be hoping for big things in the new season.