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Felix Hernandez will not play for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic because there still is a ways to go before he completes his contract extension with the Seattle Mariners, according to his representative, Octagon agency.
Hernandez, who had been announced as the No. 1 starter in Venezuela's rotation for the third edition of the WBC, is in the middle of negotiations for a five-year contract extension worth $135.5 million, according to sources.
"We still have not reached an agreement, but we are moving forward," Wilfredo Polidor told ESPNdeportes.com on Friday. "At this moment, we have covered 70 percent of the road."
Polidor did not want to confirm the total amount of new money included in the contract extension, or the number of years.
According to Polidor, the negotiations drove Hernandez from playing in the upcoming WBC.
"Felix called Luis Sojo with a lot of pain in his heart to inform him that he could not play with Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic," Polidor said. "It's a shame, because he was really eager to start the first game for Venezuela against the Dominican Republic."
Venezuela is in Pool C of the WBC, along with the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Spain, with the first round scheduled in San Juan on March 7.
"Even though it's not easy to lose your ace before starting an event, Sojo understands that at this moment Felix is thinking about his future and his family's future," Polidor said.