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Can Scherzer continue to have the success he experienced in 2012?
You might think I'm insane, and that this is the dumbest suggestion ever.
I have to agree that on the surface, listening to trade offers on Max Scherzer sounds absolutely ridiculous. But when you start looking at the facts, this will make more sense.
I mentioned in the intro slide that the Tigers still need to have flexibility down the road, and this move would give them the opportunity to win now, plus better position the team for the future.
I want to clarify that I didn't say the Tigers would trade Scherzer, but only that I wish they would have listened to offers.
With the Tigers being in a win-now mode, why would they trade their No. 2 28-year-old pitcher from 2012, who is coming off a career year? The Tigers would already have had a more-than-capable replacement lined up in Lohse to step into the rotation.
Like the Tigers originally did in the trade when they acquired Max Scherzer for Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson, a potential trade could allow the Tigers to restock their roster with younger players who would be under team control longer than Scherzer will.
Scherzer experienced shoulder soreness at the end of the regular season and had to sit out for a few games in September, but he returned for the playoffs and made all of his scheduled starts. Still, the Tigers were cautious with him and never had him throw more than 100 pitches in the playoffs.
The problem is that this isn't the first time Scherzer has experienced shoulder soreness. When he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks, he also had shoulder problems during his rookie season. While Scherzer has never had any major shoulder issues, it is no guarantee he'll have a season like last year, where he had 11.1 Ks per nine innings and a WAR of 4.0.
I personally doubt he will be able to continue with this level of success, as his fastball will lose speed as he ages.
One of the main factors the Tigers' front office should have considered is that Scherzer is approaching free agency at the end of the 2014 season and his value will never be higher than during this offseason.
He could have an inferior year to last year or get hurt this season, and with free agency only one year away, his value would plummet, forcing the Tigers to sell low.
It's no question that re-signing Justin Verlander should be the Tigers' No.1 priority, and while he will cost the Tigers more than re-signing Scherzer, he also has the track record of staying healthy and being the more reliable of the two.
Pretty soon some key players on the Tigers are coming up on their free agency, and the Tigers won't be able to afford everyone. That is why the team needs to prioritize who they want to invest their future in.
While the Tigers have a great relationship with Scott Boras, who represents Scherzer, Boras has a reputation of recommending that his clients hit the open market of free agency.
Boras is infamous for the binders he prints up of his players, and chances are he'll use this tactic to try and sell Scherzer to other teams. I believe as soon as this happens, some team will fall in love with Scherzer and the Tigers will only be left with a draft pick for compensation, instead of many young players.
Even though the Tigers are trying to win the World Series this year, these are all reasons why they owed it to themselves to at least see if there was a great offer out there.
This offseason would also have been the right time, since a veteran pitcher in Lohse (who is also represented by Boras) was sitting on the market; someone who has been very successful the last two seasons and would have been able to step right into the rotation.
I'd love to hear your comments and/or suggestions on what the Tigers should have done this offseason.