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Top 10 Pitchers Who Might Make $200 Million

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Who Might Make $200 Million

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

This past week the Seattle Mariners made history by giving Felix Hernandez a record $175 million contract that will take him through 2019. Some people think that is too much for a pitcher that seems to be losing velocity on his fastball and might be on the down side of his best years. I mean really, who wouldn’t pay $20 million per year for a good chance at a great pitcher?

Oh wait, that was what he made with his old contract. The new one gives him $25 million annually through 2019. I’m going to pause while you absorb that number. - Okay. So, is that too much money for a pitcher such as Hernandez? The likely answer is, probably so in the long run. Long, ultra expensive contracts never made much sense to me for some reason. *cough* Alex Rodriquez *cough*

Still, pitching and defense do win championships. Hernandez certainly has had several few good years. He deserves money, though I’m not sure if that much isn’t too much. It has set a new standard, however. Considering the simple fact that Felix Hernandez, as great as he may be, isn’t the best or youngest superstar pitcher, it begs a question. What other young pitchers could make a big pay day soon? The number will likely rise to at least $200 million dollars or higher. Let’s look at a few pitchers that could make the big bucks. Well, the really, really big bucks.

David Miller is a columnist at Find him here on Facebook or follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant

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10 – Michael Pineda

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Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Pineda was a rookie in 2012 but received a few votes for rookie of the year for his showing. I would love to say I didn’t consider the fact that he plays for the New York Yankees, who already displayed they would pay a ton for a player in the past, when choosing him. But I just can’t say that.

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9 – Matt Cain

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Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Cain will not be a free agent until he is a little over the age of thirty, which makes him a long shot for this list. Still, the job he has done for the San Francisco Giants could get him a huge payday.

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8 – Yovani Gallardo

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Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers will have to make a decision soon on Yovani Gallardo, who will still be well into his twenties when free agency comes calling. His ERA hasn’t been below three but he posts over 15 wins per season.

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7 – Madison Bumgarner

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Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Madison Bumgarner is only 22 and has already received a few votes for Cy-Young Award back in 2011 with the San Francisco Giants. He has gotten better since then. He’ll be due a massive pay day if that trend continues.

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6 – Kris Medlen

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Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves must have had to do a double-take when they saw Kris Medlen, with eleven starts, post an ERA of a Maddux like 1.57. He is still very young and might crave a big payment if he can keep that kind of number going, or even if it reaches 2.00.

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5 – Johnny Cueto

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Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Any time a pitcher posts an ERA of under 3.00, everyone sits up and takes notice. Johnny Cueto has given the Cincinnati Reds two years in a row like that, the last of which included 19 wins. Not bad.

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4 – Gio Gonzalez

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Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Gio Gonzalez’s numbers have gotten better every year. If that happens in 2013, his second season for the Washington Nationals, he won’t give up any runs all year. Well, maybe a few.

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3 – Clayton Kershaw

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Clayton Kershaw might not be a name you have heard a lot about. Let me introduce you to the 24-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers star. He has been involved in five major league seasons. His ERA has been well into the 2.00 to 2.70 range each and every year. He has one Cy-Young Award from 2011 and finished second in the voting in 2012. The last two ERAs have led the National League. His contract is up in 2015. Somewhere Scott Boras just did a spit take, then picked up his phone.

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2 – David Price

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Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Someone should tell Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price that it’s okay to give up more than a couple of runs in a game. Not every game, David, just every now and then you can give up four or five and go shower early. Its okay, you’ll still get the huge contract.

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1 – Stephen Strasburg

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Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody knows this name by now. Why does everyone know it? Well, because he has the label of the best young pitcher in the game. Personally I like Kershaw better and for longer, but public opinion is what so-called super agent Scott Boras feeds off of. Since he represents the Washington Nationals favorite superstar, you can expect an even more ridiculous paycheck for the next time Stephen Strasburg needs a contract.