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

Kamiak senior’s 52-point outburst this season was historic

Carson Tuttle’s performance was one of the best in the history of current Wesco 4A and 3A schools.

Art Thiel: Carroll has no choice but to be ‘very aggressive’

With just two years left on his contract, the Seahawks coach has no choice but to go for it in 2018.

Dan Mack steps down as the head football coach at Kamiak

He served as the Knights’ head coach for 20 seasons

Police question friends of WSU quarterback who killed himself

The redshirt sophomore died Tuesday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to police.

Wednesday’s prep results, with links to recaps

Here are Wednesday’s prep results, with links to recaps: BOYS BASKETBALL Northwest… Continue reading

Wednesday’s prep stars of the night

Here are Wednesday’s prep stars of the night: Carolyn Brunner, P, Kamiak… Continue reading

Conroy fills crucial role in center of UW bench

The Huskies fiery assistant coach serves as a bridge between coach Mike Hopkins and the players.

Area girls soccer players earn all-state honors

King’s Stella named the Class 1A MVP; a pair of Jackson players land spots on the 4A first team

Kokanee exhibit added to sportsmen’s show

The Kokanee Tank is likely to be one of the most popular additions to the sportfishing seminar lineup.

Most Read