Right-handed pitcher Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners finalized a seven-year, $175 million contract this week, ending any chance of the 2010 Cy Young Award winner wearing New York Yankees pinstripes any time soon.
Hernandez, a three-time American League All-Star, went 13-9 with a 3.06 ERA in 2012. Also known as “King Felix,” the flame-throwing Venezuelan’s massive pact with Seattle—which finished last season with an AL West-worst 75-87 record—comes after years of speculation about his next destination.
But barring a trade during the life of the contract, Hernandez, 26, will spend his entire prime with the Mariners, who held a press conference Wednesday to formally announce the deal.
“Thank you to my family. They’ve always been there with me,” an emotional Hernandez said at the presser, before adding, “This is a great day for the Seattle Mariners. I will do my best, or more than my best, to [help this team get] to the playoffs.”
Through eight seasons (2005-12), Hernandez, whose new contract makes him the highest paid pitcher in history, is 98-76 with a 3.22 ERA.