How Felix Hernandez’s Elbow Could Prevent Him From Becoming Richest Pitcher In History

By Michael Terrill
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Mariners were prepared to make starter Felix Hernandez the richest pitcher in Major League Baseball history until concern about his elbow put a stop to the hype.

The papers were printed, fans in Seattle rejoiced and free agent pitchers across the league became instantly aware that they too could become filthy rich with one swing of the pen. It was all but guaranteed that Hernandez signed a seven-year, $175 million extension that broke the bank. However, these agreements are always held in the balance pending a physical and apparently, Hernandez did not pass his.

The Mariners required King Felix to undergo a physical before he signed his extension papers just to make sure they knew what they were getting from the All-Star pitcher. One source close to the team went as far as to say the elbow is most definitely “an issue” while others were not so confident.

“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,” said Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik.

Apparently, Hernandez has been throwing the baseball at a normal rate without any problems as he does at this time every year before pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Seattle’s GM and Hernandez both believe nothing is wrong with the elbow but unfortunately, their opinions do not matter when it comes to a physical performed by medical professionals.

It would not be completely surprising if there were wear and tear on Hernandez’s elbow considering he has become only the third player since 1969 to toss at least 1,620 1/3 innings in his career before turning 27 years old. And if this is true then the record contract will most definitely take a nose dive on the cash end, which will not make King Felix and his royal court very happy.

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