The Detroit Tigers avoided going to arbitration with 2013 AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer, both parties agreeing upon a one-year deal worth $15.525 million. In his second arbitration year, Scherzer singed for higher number than first anticipated by a good $2 million. But Clayton Kershaw's new multi-year deal worth $215 million over seven-years has reset the bar on contracts for top of the rotation pitchers.
Due to become a free agent after the 2014 season, Scherzer and his agent Scott Boras will be looking for a hefty payday. The Tigers are not going to let Scherzer walk in free agency without looking at all their options and still hold out hope they can keep their 21 game winner.
Tigers President and GM Dave Dombrowski confirmed today the team is still hoping to ink a long-term deal with the 29-year-old right-hander, using the term 'explore long-term deal.' But he added the Tigers' current focus was on getting Scherzer under contract for 2014. With that out of the way, the organization can now determine if keeping Scherzer long-term is a realistic option.
Scherzer's breakout campaign ultimately earned him a huge raise of $8.8 million, after making $6.725 million in 2013. Scherzer was the only 20-game winner in MLB last season, recording a 21-3 record, 2.90 ERA, leading the AL with a 0.970 WHIP while finishing second in strikeouts with 240 and in K/9 at 10.078.