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Max Scherzer open to extension, but won’t negotiate during season

Jan 23, 2014, 12:52 PM EDT

ALCS - Detroit Tigers v Boston Red Sox - Game Two Getty Images

There’s been lots of speculation about the Tigers trading Max Scherzer before he hits free agency next offseason and he recently avoided arbitration by signing for $15.25 million in his final season of eligibility.

Today the reigning Cy Young winner told Jason Beck of MLB.com that he’s open to a contract extension with the Tigers and “hopes they can get something done by spring training.” Scherzer even called himself “optimistic” about reaching an agreement, but also added that he will not negotiate once the season begins.

Assuming that he stays healthy before hitting the open market at age 30 it’s hard to imagine Scherzer not approaching $150 million and it’s almost as hard to imagine agent Scott Boras not pushing him to at least test free agency even if he wants to remain in Detroit.

  1. historiophiliac - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    That’s exactly what Verlander said last year. :)

    • stex52 - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      And that’s just what Albert said to the Cards…………oh, oops.

      Just messing with you, philiac.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:34 PM

        That’s cold, man.

  2. uyf1950 - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    At 29 years old (30 come July) Scherzer should be able to command a 9 figure deal without much trouble at all. Five years $20MM per should be the minimum target he’s shooting for.

  3. tmhofficial - Jan 23, 2014 at 1:48 PM

    If I was the Tigers, I’d want to double down and see if he can repeat the performance before locking him in for all that money. Resigning players after their career season, when their value is highest, leaves franchises in trouble down the road.

    My Twins and Mauer being the best example. Signed him to his huge deal after the only season in which he showed power.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      Except, he’s been steadily improving since joining the Tigers. The last couple of years, he’s really come into his own. His K/9 rate is fabulous and his ERA is still falling. Plus, he’s our best hitting pitcher. Mentally, I think he’s the toughest we have — keeps his head and works out of a jam well. He’s shown he’s very good for a couple of seasons now. I wouldn’t risk losing him to a contender being too conservative. Verlander-Scherzer-Sanchez is a lethal combination. Grrrrrrrrr!!!

  4. tmhofficial - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:23 PM

    Look, I agree he’s been getting better, although a bit of a late bloomer.

    Looking at it with just ERA, he was a 4.43 in 2011, and 3.74 in 2012. Good, but not great. I know that doesn’t tell the whole story, but that is a bit closer to “average” than you want to be for a guy pushing for $150 million+ most likely.

    From the sounds of it, it seems like an extension will happen, but if I was the GM I’d double down and see if he can duplicate that effort, or be even close to it. You know? Especially being tied up financially with Verlander already, and with Miggy coming up.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 23, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      Everyone gets hung up on the ERA and that’s what’s been keeping him from being seen as an elite pitcher. But, he has been bringing it down and his WHIP is great. Plus, it appears that they decided they needed the pitching more than the extra bat, so they traded Fielder to free up money for him (and Miggy — they know it’s coming).

      • tmhofficial - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:06 PM

        Last season will either be viewed as a launching point for him into MLB’s elite, or it’ll be viewed as flukey. We just don’t know.

        I’d rather see one more dominant season, and then pay the high price tag to retain him. If he likes Detroit as much as it seems, I see no reason why that wouldn’t work out. If Det makes a competitive offer, I assume he’d return. They’re going to be in contention, and they have the money to pay him.

        As a Twins fan, the last thing I want to see is a dominant Verlander, Scherzer, Sanchez trio. It’s only slightly better than the Nolasco, Correia, Hughes trio I’ll be watching this season.

      • historiophiliac - Jan 23, 2014 at 3:10 PM

        I would say 2012 launched him and 2013 confirmed him, but we can agree to disagree, Twinkie.

  5. sawxalicious - Jan 24, 2014 at 2:12 AM

    December 8, 2009: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Arizona Diamondbacks with Daniel Schlereth to the Detroit Tigers. The Detroit Tigers sent Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees. The Detroit Tigers sent Edwin Jackson to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The New York Yankees sent Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to the Detroit Tigers. The New York Yankees sent Ian Kennedy to the Arizona Diamondbacks —–baseballreference.com

    When this trade happened, I felt the Tigers got the best of the deal-Scherzer always had the stuff and the tools to be a great pitcher. I couldn’t believe the D-Backs traded him. He’s finally put it all together and I do not see him regressing until his body starts to break down with age. I think a 5 or 6 year contract would be a great investment for the Tigers or any other team in free agency.

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