Baltimore Orioles sign Felix Hernandez to minor-league deal

By Field Level Media
Sep 29, 2019; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) waves to fans following a 3-1 victory against the Oakland Athletics at T-Mobile Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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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).

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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