- Andrew Marchand, ESPNNewYork.com
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Hernandez's annual salary of $25 million over seven seasons makes him the highest-paid pitcher of all time, eclipsing CC Sabathia's seven-year, $161 million deal before the 2009 season.
Hernandez, who turns 27 in April, will not be eligible for free agency until he is almost 34. The Mariners are obviously committed to building around him and will not look to trade him -- in the near future, at least.
It is becoming increasingly clear that if the Yankees are going to have top-of-the-line starters, they need to develop them. That is why Michael Pineda and Manny Banuelos, etc. are so vital to the Yankees long-term success. Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte might not pitch in the majors after 2013, while Phil Hughes could be in line for a big contract with his free agency this offseason.
The Sabathias and King Felixes of the world are not on the market as often and, even when pitches who are not true No. 1s make it to free agency, the frenzy for them (see Zack Greinke's $24.5M) makes them overpaid in many cases and not worth it.
QUESTION: Who do you have more faith in as a future No. 2 starter, Banuelos or Pineda?
Well, at least forget about Felix Hernandez as a Yankee anytime soon. The Seattle Mariners are about to sign King Felix to a seven-year, $175 million, according to USA Today.