The Detroit Tigers and pitching ace Max Scherzer have reportedly agreed on a one-year, $15.5 million deal that will bring the veteran back for a fifth straight season in the Motor City, according to CBSSports.com baseball writer Jon Heyman:
The Tigers then made things official:
As Heyman points out, the one-year signing doesn't mean the Tigers have given up on pursuing a long-term deal for Scherzer:
The 29-year-old right-hander has spent the past four seasons in Detroit, putting up dominant numbers during the regular season and backing up his play with impressive playoff performances in each of the past three years.
Securing Scherzer, who went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA en route to earning the American League Cy Young Award in 2013, for the upcoming 2014 season means the Tigers will once again begin the year as a favorite to reach the World Series.
After winning the AL Cy Young Award last fall, Scherzer commented on his contract situation and admitted that he'd prefer to stick around, per USA Today's Jorge L. Ortiz:
I am open (to an extension). I love it here in Detroit. We've got a team that's capable of winning every single year right now. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that? I'm all about trying to win a World Series. I realize I have a good situation here in Detroit. But it also takes two to dance.
In the process of turning in a career year in 2013 that saw him lead all of MLB in wins, Scherzer earned his first-ever All-Star nod and now enters his seventh season in the majors with mighty expectations to fulfill.
It's unknown whether the Tigers have enough firepower to finally get over the hump in 2014, but signing Scherzer ensures that Detroit will bring back another key piece to a stellar pitching staff that ranked tops in the majors in quality starts last season with 108.
The Atlanta Braves were the only other team with at least 100.
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