If you were hoping the Tigers could somehow lock down starting pitcher Max Scherzer to a long-term deal sometime during the season think again. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, Scherzer’s agent Scott Boras has indicated that there will be no extension talks for his client until the offseason rolls around.
And why not, Scherzer has significantly increased his value so far this season by going 13-1 before the All-Star Break with a 3.19 ERA, 10.6 K/9 rate and 4.90 K/BB ratio. Based off these numbers and the fact that the Tigers have a pretty good shot at the World Series this year Scherzer’s value could in fact increase even more.
Currently Scherzer has one year left of arbitration eligibility and is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2014 season. Prior to this season the Tigers and Scherzer did explore a contract extension but instead settled on a one-year, $6.725 million dollar deal to avoid arbitration.
Now if the Tigers hope to re-sign Scherzer to a long-term deal it’s going to be extremely vital this offseason for Dombrowski to avoid arbitration and get him signed to a long-term deal.
Well there’s the obvious in that the team would avoid that one-year deal and have Scherzer locked up for the long-term. But it also avoids the ugly arbitration process something that could potentially hurt Detroit’s chances of bringing back Scherzer beyond 2014.
But if Scherzer were to hit the free agent market, Boras has said that his client is very happy in Detroit and that Tigers fans shouldn’t fear the open market since there’s no guarantee he’d actually leave the team:
“I don’t think Detroit fans should all be scared of free agency,” Boras said. “If I’m not mistaken, I think free agency has been very good to the Detroit Tigers. Again, I don’t think [owner] Mike Ilitch or Dave is in any way perplexed about what they know free agency means to a player like Max. He’s a proven owner to go out and do what is necessary to keep the players that Dave and his staff have determined are necessary for his success.”
Yeah I’m not about to trust Scott Boras even if he has Mike Ilitch in his back pocket. If the Tigers don’t get Scherzer signed to a long-term deal this offseason there’s probably a pretty decent chance that Boras prices his client out of the Tigers’ budget. This of course is given the big contracts they already have on the books for the foreseeable future.
h/t: MLB.com, MLBTradeRumors.com