Ours - Otto Greule Jr
16 Total Updates since February 7, 2013
3 months ago Update 57 comments
It's team policy not to discuss the terms of contracts. Yet the terms of contracts become known anyway, so nuts to the Mariners, we know what's up now with Felix Hernandez's long-term contract extension. This is all going to be coming from Ken Rosenthal. First, the annual breakdown:
2013: $19 million
2014: $22 million
2015: $24 million
2016: $25 million
2017: $26 million
2018: $26 million
2019: $27 million
That all adds up to $169 million, and Felix will also get a $6 million signing bonus, bringing us up to the familiar $175 million figure. If you want, you can consider this back-loaded, but remember that $27 million in 2019 won't mean what $27 million means to us now. By that point the Mariners' payroll could be anything, from $200 million to technically just like a few million I guess. One can't rule out the Mariners eventually becoming the Astros. "Anything is possible!" they say, encouragingly, but also inadvertently discouragingly.
More important than the breakdown: the protective language. Over the weekend, there were those rumors about the Mariners seeing something potentially troubling in Felix's elbow MRI. We talked before about John Lackey's contract with the Red Sox. Lackey signed with a history of elbow problems, so the Red Sox included a team option at the league minimum if Lackey sustained a major elbow injury of a specific type. Lackey did sustain a major elbow injury of the specific type, so now the Red Sox can have Lackey for the minimum in 2015 if they want.
The Mariners managed to negotiate something very similar into the end of Felix's contract.
Felix conditional club option with #Mariners in 2020 for $1M. That option becomes available to team if …— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 14, 2013
Felix on DL for more than 130 days in any 183 consecutive major-league days for rt. elbow surgery or any other procedure to fix rt. elbow.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 14, 2013
Basically, if Felix ends up needing Tommy John surgery on his elbow, because he blows out his UCL, he'll miss a big chunk of time, and then the Mariners will have the option of keeping him in 2020 for $1 million, which should be just about the league minimum by that point in the future. That's not exactly what the provision says, but that's the idea. If Felix injures his shoulder, the Mariners have no protection. If Felix injures his Achilles, like beloved NHL defender Erik Karlsson just did, the Mariners have no protection. If the wear and tear in Felix's elbow develops into something worse than that, the Mariners have protection. If Felix has to miss a year of the guaranteed contract because of what the Mariners identified in his MRI, a cheap year can get added to the contract. It's essentially a swap, except that in 2020 Felix would be 34 years old.
I love it, because this is better for the team than the same contract without the potential team option. It doesn't make Felix hurting his elbow less likely, but it does make Felix more likely to earn the deal. It eats away at some of that risk, and when you reduce the risk, the occasion only becomes more joyous. Felix! Felix through the rest of the decade!
3 months ago Update 11 comments
Because the Mariners held the Felix Hernandez contract extension press conference at two in the afternoon, a lot of people who would've wanted to watch probably were not able to watch. Additionally, there are probably a lot of people who weren't interested in watching, who might now be interested in watching after having read about how moving it was. Well, the Mariners anticipated your desire to watch a tape of the press conference, and I'm embedding it below. I haven't actually embedded an MLB.com video here since we launched SB Nation United, so I don't know how this is going to work, but you'd think I'd check instead of writing this sentence. You don't understand how committed I am to making almost everything on this page straight-up stream of consciousness. I will not research and I will not edit. What you see is what you get. (Ladies.) (If you take a long-enough break Demetri Martin gets to be funny again.) (Felix!)
3 months ago Article 69 comments
Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners held a Safeco Field press conference to officially announce Felix's long-term contract extension. It was wonderful.
3 months ago Update 85 comments
The Seattle Mariners and Felix Hernandez supposedly agreed to a long-term contract extension worth $175 million over seven years. The Seattle Mariners then supposedly identified something troubling in Felix's right elbow MRI. The Seattle Mariners and Felix Hernandez have now agreed to a long-term contract extension supposedly worth $175 million over seven years.
source: felix deal remains $175M for 7 years guaranteed— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 12, 2013
'Minor concessions' were made to address the condition of Felix's elbow in his new 7/175m deal. Old deal torn up.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 12, 2013
Okay. Obviously, we don't have the whole picture yet, and we might never. We don't know what sorts of minor concessions might have been made. But it seems like the guaranteed money hasn't changed, and if an option were added to the end of the contract, to protect the team in the event of an injury, that doesn't seem like it would count as a minor concession. That would be a pretty significant thing! Although one is free to have his own interpretation of the word "minor".
Here's the real conclusion: if Felix is signing for about the same amount of guaranteed money as was reported last week, then the Mariners can't be too concerned about his health now or in the future. Meaning whatever they saw in Felix's MRI couldn't have been that worrisome. If there were something seriously wrong, it's not like Felix's agents could've negotiated it away. To agree to the same or similar terms means it's probably just ordinary wear and tear, which would only confirm what the Mariners likely would've suspected. Over the next several years, Felix is an injury risk. We knew that from the beginning. We've known that since Felix was a prospect. I remember, when Felix was still a minor leaguer, I asked Will Carroll about him, and Carroll said that Felix's delivery was too violent. I'm still waiting on the consequences.
It's still not clear whether Felix is getting a new seven-year contract, or a five-year extension that kicks in after his old deal expires. I think it's a new seven-year contract. It doesn't really make that much of a difference. (UPDATE: new seven-year contract. So Felix's salary goes up in 2013 and 2014 from what it was to be before.)
Felix. Felix! Felix and the Seattle Mariners! For now and forever!
3 months ago Update 39 comments
3 months ago Article 86 comments
Talking a little bit more about the situation reportedly surrounding Felix Hernandez's elbow, as he and the Mariners approach a contract extension.
3 months ago Article 80 commentsContinue
3 months ago Article 36 comments
Examining Seattle Mariners home attendance for games started by Felix Hernandez, and for games not started by Felix Hernandez, dating back to his 2005 rookie season.
3 months ago Article 22 comments
According to reports, Felix Hernandez is dropping out of the WBC, electing against pitching for Venezuela on account of his imminent contract extension with the Mariners.
3 months ago Article 101 comments
We know where we're all trying to go. It's just a question of whether or not we're able to get there, and a whole lot of it is out of our hands.
3 months ago Update 7 comments
The Seattle Mariners have not signed Felix Hernandez to a long-term contract extension. That's the one thing we know for a fact. The rest is all still rumor, and the Mariners, for their part, deny that anything is planned or imminent. But the Mariners are always the last to confirm these things, and everybody else is running with the story. Maybe the final figure won't be exactly $175 million, or maybe there will be an option or just other odd details we haven't heard of yet, but there's every reason to believe the Mariners and Felix are on the verge of staying committed to one another. We've been approaching this point, and we're coming up on spring training, during which players generally don't like to be distracted by things like contract negotiations.
People have their varying opinions of the deal. And they're not just varying degrees of "hey, all right" -- some people are thrilled, and some people are terrified. Some people, legitimate people, intelligent people, think the Mariners are making a mistake. There are arguments for both sides, which is why there is an argument between the two sides. Nothing is absolute.
Except for this! One thing that's absolute is that I absolutely posted about the Felix contract at FanGraphs, and here is a link to the post. This is what some in the business refer to as "self-promotion," and what none in the business refer to as "self-promizzle," anymore, hopefully. I'm going to excerpt one little section not only to give you a tease, but also because I feel like this is important to get:
By looking at the money, one might conclude that Hernandez didn't give the Mariners a hometown discount, in the way that Jered Weaver re-signed with the Angels for less than he deserved. The Mariners are basically signing Hernandez for free-agent money, two years away from free agency. But here's the key to that sentence: the Mariners are signing Hernandez. The "hometown discount" is that Hernandez was willing to re-sign with the Mariners in the first place, despite the fact that they've been so mediocre for so long.
The Mariners aren't getting a discount in the form of financial savings. Seems to me they're getting a discount in the form of willingness to stick around, since most players prefer to play for winners and the Mariners haven't won. The loyalty is manifest in Felix wearing the uniform.
This is a day for celebration. Not because the Mariners got a bargain, because they didn't. Not because Felix is a guarantee, because he isn't. Because Felix might be on his way to being the greatest Seattle Mariner in franchise history. In a way this feels like the Mariners have successfully defended a little hill in the middle of a vast battlefield. They've still got Felix. They've still got Felix for a while.
3 months ago Article 403 comments
According to USA Today, Felix and the Mariners have agreed to terms on a seven-year contract worth $175 million. That effectively makes it a five-year extension.
3 months ago Update 247 comments
Here's the first link, from Bob Nightengale at USA Today. Relevant lede:
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.
Go nuts, folks.
4 months ago Article 47 commentsContinue
4 months ago Article 10 commentsContinue
4 months ago Article 23 commentsContinue