Updates from Sunday, March 30
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski talked about Max Scherzer and his contract situation with the team (via Jim Bowden of ESPN):
Dave Dombrowski told us they had enough money to sign both Miguel Cabrera and Max Scherzer Sirius 209 XM 89— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) March 30, 2014
Dombrowski told us reason he put out a press release on Scherzer negotiations was because of new era of media coverage Sirius 209 XM 89— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) March 30, 2014
Updates from Thursday, March. 27
John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press had the latest from Max Scherzer on his talks with the Tigers:
Scherzer said Dombrowski apologized to him for the way the statement on the contract made Scherzer appear. Direct quotes on this to come.— Freep Tigers (@freeptigers) March 27, 2014
Scherzer: "I talked to Dave . . . about how things were handled. He said he kind of regretted how it went down."— Freep Tigers (@freeptigers) March 27, 2014
add Scherzer: "He told me he wanted to convey to fans that he was doing his job. He could see how some things put me in a negative context."— Freep Tigers (@freeptigers) March 27, 2014
add Scherzer re Dombrowski: "That wasn't his intent (making Scherzer look bad)."— Freep Tigers (@freeptigers) March 27, 2014
Updates from Monday, March 24
Jim Bowden of ESPN has the latest on Max Scherzer:
According to a #Source : Scott Boras has Max Scherzer protected with an insurance policy & he will receive life long security if injured.— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) March 24, 2014
The Detroit Tigers and 2013 American League Cy Young winner Max Scherzer are at odds on a long-term contract extension that the two sides are reportedly negotiating.
The Tigers released an official statement through their public relations department on Twitter discussing their side of the matter:
Tigers Statement on Max Scherzer pic.twitter.com/kTUpgtO1ZV— Tigers PR (@DetroitTigersPR) March 23, 2014
FOX Sports' Jon Morosi gave specifics on the terms of the offer:
Source: Tigers’ offer to Max Scherzer was six years, $144 million. That was what Cole Hamels signed for in 2012. @FOXSportsLive— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 23, 2014
In their statement, the Tigers say there will be no comments on Scherzer's contract moving forward. He's due to become a free agent at the end of the 2014 season.
ESPN.com's Staff provides a statement from Scherzer's agent, Scott Boras, discussing the situation:
"Max Scherzer made a substantial long-term contract extension offer to the Detroit Tigers that would have placed him among the highest-paid pitchers in baseball, and the offer was rejected by Detroit,'' Boras said. "Max is very happy with the city of Detroit, the fans and his teammates, and we will continue negotiating with the Tigers at season's end.''
Jason Beck of MLB.com provided a synopsis of Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski discussing the negotiations:
Dombrowski: "A lot" of back and forth on "numbers and years."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) March 23, 2014
Dombrowski said they set soft deadline of Thursday. Made final offer a week before, got answer on Wednesday.— Jason Beck (@beckjason) March 23, 2014
Beck later provided a statement from Scherzer:
Scherzer: "I know we have a great thing here. I'm not saying the grass is greener on the other side. But I want to play this out."— Jason Beck (@beckjason) March 23, 2014
ESPN's Staff later provided financial findings reported by ESPN's Jayson Stark:
An industry source told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that the Tigers' offer to Scherzer was for a slightly lower figure than the $25.7 million per year that Justin Verlander received in the extension he signed last spring, but still would have placed Scherzer among the top six highest-paid pitchers in baseball by average annual value of the deal.
That begs the question of why the team would make this public announcement, because now Dombrowski and Tigers coaches will have to answer questions about what's going on with Scherzer's contract.
Scherzer has been tight-lipped about his impending free agency, though he did tell Jorge Ortiz of USA Today in November that he's open to a contract extension with the Tigers:
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.
James Schmehl of MLive.com noted that Detroit's tactics with Scherzer don't fall in line with the team's usual objective in these situations:
Incredibly odd for Dombrowski to address Max's contract situation in a group setting. Don't think he's ever done anything like it before.— James Schmehl (@jamesschmehl) March 23, 2014
Max Scherzer is expected to address the comments and contact situation when #Tigers' clubhouse reopens. Stay tuned.— James Schmehl (@jamesschmehl) March 23, 2014
Scherzer's career has taken off since being traded to Detroit before the 2010 season. He led the AL in strikeouts per nine innings two years ago (11.1) and had a career year in 2013 with a 2.90 ERA, 0.970 WHIP and 240-56 strikeout-to-walk ratio en route to winning his first Cy Young.
The Tigers are in a tricky spot with Scherzer. They clearly want to pay him a vast sum of money and have the resources to do it but also have to factor in that he will be 30 in July, they have an aging roster and Justin Verlander is already locked into a huge contract through 2019.
There is also the Miguel Cabrera situation. He's not set to become a free agent until after 2015, but coming off consecutive MVP awards and being regarded as the best hitter on the planet, the Tigers will have to pay a fortune to keep him.
Scherzer has proven himself to be a No. 1 starter for a championship team, which is the rarest commodity in baseball. He's earned the right to ask for whatever amount of money he wants, just as the Tigers have the right to set a limit on their price.
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