A five-year, $135 million contract is nothing to sneeze at. Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez not only received a deal of that magnitude, but signed an extension of those exact figures with the Mariners that will keep him in Seattle through the 2019 MLB season. In fact, Hernandez’s average salary of $27.1 million over the life of the deal is the most by any pitcher in history. It’s safe to assume those stud earrings and that necklace King Felix wears are probably going to get a little bigger this year.
As rich as Hernandez is now, his new deal really has free-agent-pitchers-to-be Justin Verlander, Clayton Kershaw and even David Price as the ones seeing dollar signs. The former two will be free agents in 2014 while Price will test the market in 2015 granted he’s not traded before then. Regardless of when they’ll be vying for new contracts, all three pitchers are licking their chops because they now have leverage in Hernandez’s new deal to construct their own.
So before long, we’ll have a ton of pitchers making upwards of $30 million per year. Obviously the past two seasons, which were each donned “Year of the Pitcher,” were just forecasts of things to come in MLB. Hernandez pitched a perfect game and now he’s rolling in the dough. There have been more perfect games in the past three years than any other point in history, so it’s only natural that pitchers are now getting paid more because they’re more valuable players. If you think Hernandez’s deal was outrageous, wait until you see the ones in store for the other three mentioned pitchers.