It's time to end all the trade rumors that have forever surrounded Felix Hernandez, as he and the Seattle Mariners have agreed on a record seven-year, $175 million contract.
Hernandez has arguably been the top pitcher in baseball for the past several seasons. King Felix won the AL Cy Young Award in 2010 with a minuscule ERA of 2.27 in 249.2 innings pitched.
Last season, he pitched a perfect game and further established himself as a top-five (or maybe top-three) pitcher in Major League Baseball.
He was already scheduled to earn $19.5 million in 2013 and $20 million in 2014, but he'll earn even more now that his extension is effective immediately. He'll know have a contract that will pay him an average of $25 million per season.
Hernandez, who made his MLB debut at age 19, will still be just 33 by the time the life of this extension ends. He could again be in line for a big-money deal to close out his professional pitching career.
If Hernandez pitches anything like he has over the past three seasons, the Mariners did a great job by locking up their ace. They've made strides this offseason to try and compete in the strong AL West, and keeping Hernandez in Seattle is essential to their success.
This will likely end all trade talks surrounding Hernandez. He's been tied to countless rumors over the course of his career, mostly because he's been too good of a pitcher to pitch for the lowly Mariners.
Now that they've been improving, he shouldn't be going anywhere. In two seasons, he'll have a no-trade clause kick in as a result of 10 years of service time with one team.
Hernandez will look to prove that he's earned such a monstrous contract in 2013 and beyond, and there's no reason at all to bet against him.