Felix Hernandez opts out of minor-league deal with Baltimore Orioles

Mar 3, 2020; North Port, Florida, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) throws a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at CoolToday Park. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Right-hander Felix Hernandez requested and received his release from the Baltimore Orioles, the team announced Monday.

Hernandez, who will turn 35 on April 8, signed a minor-league deal in February in a bid to catch on with the Orioles.

The former American League Cy Young Award winner has been nursing a right elbow injury since being removed from a spring training game against the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this month.

Hernandez has not pitched in a major league game since 2019, when he was in the final of his 15 seasons with the Seattle Mariners. The Venezuelan signed with the Atlanta Braves in 2020 but opted out of the season for COVID-19 concerns.

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According to the terms of his minor-league deal with the Orioles, Hernandez was set to make $1 million if he made the big league roster.

Hernandez won the Cy Young Award in 2010 when he led the majors with a 2.27 ERA and topped the American 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.

Known as “King Felix” around baseball, Hernandez again led the AL in ERA in 2014 (2.14) and struck out more than 200 hitters in six straight seasons (2009-14).

In 2012, he tossed a perfect game and struck out 12 in a 1-0 win over the Rays. That stands as the most recent perfect game in major league history.

Related: MLB power rankings – New team takes No. 1 spot, Rays plummet into Week 13

Hernandez is 169-136 in his career with 2,524 strikeouts and a 3.42 ERA in 419 games (418 starts).

–Field Level Media