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Mariners on Verge on New Deal With Ace

Seattle — Felix Hernandez and the Seattle Mariners are working on a $175 million, seven-year contract that would make him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball, according to a person with knowledge of the deal’s details.

The person spoke to The Associated Press yesterday on condition of anonymity because the agreement has not been completed. USA Today first reported the deal.

Seattle would add $134.5 million of guaranteed money over five years to the contract of the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, whose current agreement calls for him to receive $40.5 million over the next two seasons.

Hernandez’s total dollars would top CC Sabathia’s original $161 million, seven-year contract with the New York Yankees and his $25 million average would surpass Zack Greinke’s $24.5 million under his new contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Hernandez’s new money would average $26.9 million over five years.

Indians Sign Ex-Sox Infielder

Cleveland — The Indians signed infielder Mike Aviles to a two-year contract with a club option for the 2015 season.

Aviles, who was acquired in a trade from Toronto in November, gives the Indians depth at second base and shortstop. He spent last season as Boston’s primary shortstop, batting .250 with 13 homers and 60 RBIs in 136 games.

NFL Football

Assistant Apologizes
For Bounty Scandal

Nashville, Tenn. — Gregg Williams knows he’s got to prove himself every day.

The former Saints defensive coordinator said he received a “great rebirth” yesterday when he was reinstated by the NFL and hired by the Tennessee Titans after serving a nearly yearlong suspension for his role in the New Orleans bounty scandal.

But now that he’s back in the league, he’ll have to change the way he’s done things in the past.

“I’ve got a very positive outlook on things,” Williams said. “I understand and respect the game an awful lot, and the past is the past and what I’m talking about doing right now is creating a resume from this day forward.”

Williams took the first step when the Titans hired him as a senior assistant coach for defense. Williams thanked commissioner Roger Goodell for reinstating him while speaking at a news conference.

Golf

Mahan Shares Lead

Pebble Beach, Calif. — Hunter Mahan was bracing for the worst at Pebble Beach and instead was reminded how much he loves this place.

The rain stayed away yesterday and Mahan took advantage of gorgeous conditions for a 6-under 66 that gave him a share of the lead to par with Russell Knox in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Knox, trying to make the most out of limited starts on the PGA Tour this year, had a 6-under 64 at Monterey Peninsula.

The best round might have belonged to Seung-yul Noh. He played at Spyglass Hill, typically the toughest of the three courses when conditions are benign.

The South Korean was 7 under through 16 holes until finishing with two bogeys.

Even so, his 5-under 67 was the best score at Spyglass.