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Mariners rumors: Felix Hernandez extension 'still on track'

The Seattle Mariners contract extension with Felix Hernandez is "still on track."

Otto Greule Jr

The Seattle Mariners reached a seven-year, $175 million contract extension with Felix Hernandez last week, but an elbow ‘issue' put the right-hander's extension in jeopardy. Still, the deal remains "on track" and could be announced in the next day or so after the Mariners add protective language against Hernandez's elbow, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.

An MRI conducted Friday revealed an issue with Hernandez's throwing elbow. This was an immediate red flag for the Mariners, and they are now taking the time to add language into the extension that will protect them from future injury related to the elbow.

More: Elbow now a thing in Felix negotiations

General manager Jack Zduriencik recently told Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times that the parties involved are "working and things are going in a positive direction." The GM added that he hopes to complete the extension "sooner rather than later."

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.