Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik has declined all comment up until now on the fact he is close to a contract extension with Felix Hernandez. But today, for the first time, he acknowledged that there have been ongoing talks that he says are close to being concluded.

“It’s no secret that we’ve been in negotiations,” Zduriencik told media members moments ago at the team’s spring training facility. “We’ve had really good discussions with his two representatives…so, although I don’t have an update for you right now, I will say that I think things have been very positive. There has been a good tone to our discussions. And I hope, on a positive note, that sooner than later, we’ll be able to announce something. But anything of this magnitude, both in terms of years and dollars, just takes time to work things out.

“But I would say that, at this moment, it’s been real positive, and hopefully sooner than later, we’ll have something to say to you that will be significant.”

Zduriencik has been handling the team’s side of negotiations along with assistant GM Jeff Kingston and team attorney and vice-president Bart Waldman. Scott Pucino and Wil Polidor have handled things from Hernandez’s camp.

There was no chance to ask questions at the end of Zduriencik’s statement. Sources have indicated the team hopes to have a deal in-place before Hernandez takes the field for the first workouts by pitchers and catchers tomorrow morning.

So, stay tuned.