After opting out of playing in the 2020 season over coronavirus fears, former American League Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez has agreed to a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles, according to multiple reports Wednesday.
The agreement will be for one year and $1 million if he makes the big league roster, per numerous outlets.
Hernandez, who will be 35 in April, had signed a similar minor league arrangement with the Atlanta Braves last winter, but instead chose to sit out the shortened regular season.
The Venezuela native had pitched his previous 15 seasons with the Seattle Mariners after making his major league debut in 2005 at age 19. The right-hander developed into one of baseball’s elite arms by his fifth season in 2009, when he tied for the major league lead in wins with a career-high 19 behind a sparkling 2.49 ERA in his first of six All-Star appearances.
Hernandez won the Cy Young Award in 2010 when, despite being left off the All-Star team, he led the majors with a 2.27 ERA and topped the league with 249 2/3 innings pitched. With Seattle he won 10 or more games 10 times while also starting 30 or more games in 10 consecutive seasons from 2006-15.
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Known as “King Felix” around baseball, he again led the AL in ERA in 2014 (2.14) and whiffed over 200 hitters in six straight seasons (2009-14).
The veteran said last May that he hoped to reach 200 wins and 3,000 strikeouts before he retires. He currently sits at 169-136 for his career with 2,524 strikeouts and a 3.42 ERA in 419 games (418 starts).
–Field Level Media