UPDATE: Felix Hernandez deal for five years, $78 million

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9:52: Heyman and others are now tweeting that it is a five year deal worth $78 million.

9:19 A.MFrancisco Blavia tweets that the deal is worth $78MM over five years. However,  Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider says the deal “may very well be six years guaranteed and less than $100 million, with some incentives that could push it over the $100-million mark.”

Not sure who to believe, but I feel comfortable reporting that Hernandez is going to be very, very rich.

12:43 A.M. The Seattle Mariners have reportedly agreed to a contract extension with ace pitcher Felix Hernandez.

ESPN’s Keith Law, citing “a source with direct knowledge of the talks”, reports that the sides agreed to a deal on Monday night on the eve of the deadline for exchanging salary figures for arbitration.

The length and the terms of the deal were not available.

Hernandez, who made $3.8 million in 2009, was set for a big payday after going 19-5 with a 2.49 ERA in 2009, finishing second in the AL Cy Young balloting to Royals star Zack Greinke.

Law reports that the deal will go through pending a physical. If it does, it will be the latest impressive move by second-year Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik, who appears well on his way to turning around a franchise that lost 101 games under Bill Bavasi in 2008.

Earlier this offseason, Zduriencik worked a deal with the Phillies that brought ace Cliff Lee to Seattle, giving the Mariners perhaps the best one-two pitching punch in all of baseball. And more recently, he signed center fielder Franklin Gutierrez – a promising young hitter coming off a brilliant defensive season – to a four-year extension.

Corey Knebel sets modern record for consecutive appearances with a strikeout

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Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.

Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.

Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.

Joey Votto thinks he can win the Home Run Derby, but hasn’t been invited yet

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Despite having hit at least 20 home runs in eight of his 11 seasons in the majors, Reds first baseman Joey Votto has never participated in a Home Run Derby. Currently, he’s tied for the National League lead in home runs with 20, and he hasn’t been invited to this year’s festivities at Marlins Park.

In the event he is invited, Votto said he thinks he can win it, C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto likened himself to Ichiro Suzuki, a player known more for his contact abilities and mastery of the strike zone than power. “Just think of me as the Canadian Ichiro — Japan has theirs and Canada has theirs,” Votto said. “I could pull homers into the seats at will.”

Along with the 20 homers, Votto is currently hitting .306/.419/.601 with 53 RBI, and 52 runs scored in 313 plate appearances.

Teammate Scott Schebler also has 20 home runs at the moment and Adam Duvall, who made it to the semifinals of the Derby last year, has 16. Neither of them have been approached about participating in the Derby, either. Per Rosecrans, in the event each was invited, Duvall said he would consider participating if he wasn’t an All-Star and Schebler would participate regardless. Votto said he would only participate if he made the All-Star team.