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!