Max Scherzer, Tigers Fail to Agree on New Contract: Latest Details and Reaction

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMarch 23, 2014

USA Today

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):

Updates from Thursday, March. 27

John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press had the latest from Max Scherzer on his talks with the Tigers:

Updates from Monday, March 24

Jim Bowden of ESPN has the latest on Max Scherzer:

Original Text

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:

FOX Sports' Jon Morosi gave specifics on the terms of the offer:

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.'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 provided a synopsis of Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski discussing the negotiations:

Beck later provided a statement from Scherzer:

ESPN's Staff later provided financial findings reported by ESPN's Jayson Stark:

An industry source told'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 noted that Detroit's tactics with Scherzer don't fall in line with the team's usual objective in these situations:

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.

David Goldman/Associated Press

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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