http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2013/02/07/seattle-mariners-felix-hernandez-contract-highest-paid-pitcher/1899241/Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez has agreed to a seven-year, $175 million contract that should be finalized before spring training, making him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history, a person familiar with the contract details told USA TODAY Sports.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the contract is not yet official.
Hernandez was scheduled to earn $19.5 million in 2013 and $20 million in '14. Instead, his new contract will take effect this season and pay him a record average annual value of $25 million through 2019.
Seattle Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik and Alan Nero, an agent at Octagon Sports, which represents Hernandez, declined comment.
Hernandez's contract trumps CC Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million deal, signed before the 2010 season, as the richest ever for a pitcher. The average annual value of $25 million trumps the $24.5 million that Zack Greinke will receive annually from the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a six-year, $147 million deal signed in December.
Hernandez signed a five-year, $78 million deal in January 2010, and backed up the Mariners' investment by winning the 2010 American League Cy Young Award, despite winning just 13 games. He produced a 2.27 ERA and struck out 232 in 249 innings, and extended his string of 200-strikeout seasons to four this season. He further established his place in Mariners lore by pitching a perfect game this past Aug. 15.
Hernandez, who turns 27 in April, made his major league debut at 19, and he'll still be just 33 when the contract expires.