Late last week, it was reported that the Seattle Mariners and Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez had agreed on a deal that would make the King the highest paid pitcher in baseball. But while the terms in the deal have apparently been agreed upon, a lingering elbow issue seems to be holding up the finalization of the deal.
As of Sunday afternoon, sources say, the Mariners and Hernandez are not close to finishing an extension, because there are issues that the two sides are sorting through. The elbow issue is perceived by at least one of the parties in the deal as being a possible impediment to the completion of the new contract.
“It’s an issue,” said one source.
If the Mariners end up killing the deal, it wouldn’t be the first time in recent history that a big contract has been rescinded due to an injury concern. The Boston Red Sox pulled out of an agreed $39 million deal with catcher Mike Napoli after concerns over a hip condition came about, and a big trade between the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Angles was killed due to a hip issue there as well.
But while there is a possibility the Mariners could pull out of the the deal, general manager manager Jack Zduriencik has told MLB.com that he’s seen Hernandez pitch recently and he’s been throwing normal for sometime now.
“I’m not going to comment on any of that other stuff. It’s ridiculous. I’ve watched him at [Safeco Field] for the last month or so throwing, and he’s his normal self,” he told MLB.com.
There is a chance the deal could be blown up, but if the man who’s behind the contract offer is saying there’s nothing wrong, there might be nothing to worry about. Still, stranger things have happened and the situation deserves to be monitored until Hernandez has his deal officially finalized.