The Mariners and Felix Hernandez made "a bit" of progress on a five or six-year deal, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.com. The two sides will work towards a one-year deal first before resuming talks on a deal that would buy out some of Felix's free agent years.
Hernandez, 24 in April, will likely become a free agent after the 2011 season. A five-year deal would buy three free agent years out and a six-year deal would buy four of them out. Josh Johnson just agreed to a deal that will pay him $13.75MM for each of his first two free agent years, but Hernandez would presumably be looking for more, since he has more major league success to his name at a younger age.