According to John Hickey of the Seattle PI, a long-term deal for Felix Hernandez before the end of Spring Training seems possible. Hernandez won’t make much above the minimum for ’08, but maybe the Mariners can buy out his 2009-11 arbitration years at a discount. Hickey notes that Ms GM Bill Bavasi "detests the arbitration process."
The Padres bought out Chris Young‘s arb years for $13.25MM in an extension done a year ago. Around the same time, Matt Cain received about the same amount to cover his arb years (though with a club option for the third). Based on those, Felix could push for $15-17MM or so in my estimation. Thoughts?