Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Max Scherzer avoided arbitration Monday night by agreeing to a one-year deal that will pay the 28-year-old $6.725 million, according to CBSSports.com’s baseball insider Jon Heyman.
Heyman also reports that the deal was pretty much in the halfway range between his request for $7.4 million and the Tigers offer of $6.05 million.
With this agreement, the Tigers now have no arbitration cases to be heard this season. Arguments in arbitration cases begin this week.
Coming off a 16-win season with an ERA of 3.74 and one win in three playoff starts, Scherzer can now focus on getting ready for the regular season and avoid the animosity that often comes with arbitration hearings.
The one-year contract gives Scherzer a $3 million raise over what he made in 2012.
A client of Scott Boras, Scherzer will be arbitration-eligible next year and possibly be a free agent before the 2015 season.
The importance of avoiding arbitration cannot be understated.
Arbitration hearings are generally not very friendly affairs that pit the player on one side and the team on the other. The team’s position is to show why that player is not worth the money they are seeking.
Chances are a player who goes through the process of a hearing is much more likely to leave the team via free agency than if they sit down and settle their differences beforehand.
Scherzer now can concentrate on being one of the members of the best—on paper—starting rotations in the American League.
2012 may have been his best season yet. His 231 strikeouts were good enough for second in the AL and his strikeouts per nine average of 11.1 led the league.
*Statistics and salary information via Baseball-Reference.