UPDATE - The Mariners and Hernandez have reached an agreement on the contract extension, GM Jack Zduriencik tells Greg Johns of MLB.com.
#Mariners have reached agreement on contract extensin with Felix Hernandez, according to Jack Zduriencik.— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) February 12, 2013
Nightengale adds that the extension should be finalized before spring training. The deal will make Hernandez the highest-paid pitcher in baseball history.
Hernandez has spent eight seasons with the Mariners after debuting for the club as a 19-year-old in 2005. He's maintained a 3.22 ERA with a 3.1 strikeout-to-walk ratio, averaging more than 30 starts and 200 innings pitched per season since 2006. Hernandez won the American League Cy Young Award in 2010 and is a three-time All-Star.
Hernandez's new contract would surpass the seven-year, $161 million deal C.C. Sabathia signed with the New York Yankees before the 2010 season as the richest contract ever for a pitcher. The average annual value of $25 million tops the $24.5 million Zack Greinke is receiving from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hernandez signed a five-year, $78 million extension with the Mariners in January of 2010. This was set to pay him $19.5 and $20 million in 2013 and 2014. Hernandez will still only be 33 years old when this new deal expires.