Report: Concern over Felix Hernandez’s elbow could hinder contract extension

Thursday brought some potentially huge Mariners when reports surfaced that Felix Hernandez was close to signing a new seven-year contract that would keep him in Seattle through the 2019 season, but ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Sunday that concerns about Hernandez’s elbow are complicating the deal.

From Olney’s story:

As of Sunday afternoon, sources say, the Mariners and Hernandez are not close to finishing an extension, because there are issues that the two sides are sorting through.

The elbow issue is perceived by at least one of the parties in the deal as being a possible impediment to the completion of the new contract.

“It’s an issue,” said one source.

This certainly doesn’t mean the deal will fall through. As Olney points out, the Mariners could put language into the contract that protects them from a specific injury, which is what the Yankees did when signing C.C. Sabathia to a big contract.

Hernandez has been incredibly durable, pitching 190 or more innings in every full season of his career, and going 230 or more in each of the last four seasons, but it appears there is at least some concern about his elbow going forward. But again, this isn’t necessarily going to keep Hernandez and the Mariners from agreeing a long-term deal. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told the Seattle Times Sunday that negotiations are still ongoing, and if a physical had turned up a serious issue, it’s hard to imagine the Mariners would still be talking about a long-term extension.

This situation is, however, a reminder why it is so risky to give any pitcher a seven-year extension. Even if a physical showed absolutely nothing wrong with Hernandez’s elbow, shoulder or any other body part, there are no guarantees whatsoever that he’ll stay healthy through 2019. But as many have pointed out, there is a flip side of worrying too much about possible injuries. When Randy Johnson wanted a new contract, the Mariners balked because they were worried about his back. All Johnson did after being traded was go on to win four more Cy Young awards while establishing himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball history.

So no, there are no guarantees, but odds are that unless something is seriously wrong—and again, if there was, would negotiations still be ongoing?—that this deal will get done eventually.

More in Sports

Silvertips fall to Americans 3-2 in overtime

Goaltender Blake Lyda, 15, saves 32 shots in an outstanding debut with Everett.

Seahawks’ Bennett says he’ll continue to sit; Avril headed to IR

Seattle’s defensive ends make news that goes far beyond the football field.

Huskies razor-thin at CB heading into UCLA matchup

UW may look to true freshmen with junior Jordan Miller and redshirt freshman Byron Murphy hurt.

Yankees beat Astros 5-0 for 3-2 lead in ALCS

Masahiro Tanaka pitches 7 strong innings as New York moves to within one win of the World Series.

REFLECTIONS: Silvertips fall despite impressive Lyda debut

The Game Obviously a 3-2 overtime loss wasn’t the desire result. Nevertheless,… Continue reading

Snow goose prospects outstanding again

The increasing number of snows in the area leads to an increase in the daily bag limit and more.

Wayne Kruse’s Pick of the Week: Crabbing ‘out front’

By Wayne Kruse For The Herald The just-past summer recreational crab season… Continue reading

Chicago stays alive in NLCS with 3-2 win over Los Angeles

Wade Davis hangs on for a tense 6-out save as Chicago avoids a sweep and forces Game 5.

Wednesday’s prep results, links and recaps

Here are Wednesday’s prep results, links and recaps: BOYS SOCCER Northwest 2B/1B… Continue reading

Most Read