The Tigers avoided arbitration by signing 2013 Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer to a one year, 15.5 million dollar deal. That's good news. And while it's nice to hear that Scherzer and the club are on good terms, there's a bit of a situation brewing in the Motor City.
It's no secret that in 2013 Max Scherzer was the best pitcher in the entire MLB. He won a league high 21 games while only losing three, had the second most strikeouts in the A.L.(240), and was named the starter of the All Star Game; but those stats are just the beginning.
So what does the future of Max Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers look like?
Right now, it's very hard to tell. Before the Prince Fielder trade, there were talks of trading Scherzer. If the Tigers were to have done that, there would have been split reactions from the fan base. The team could have received a ton in return for Max. Opposing teams would have been offering up some of their best prospects along with some respectable stars, attempting to land the reigning Cy Young winner. Now that's all in the past. And looking ahead, it seems quite unlikely that they will trade him anytime soon. The only time it would seem fitting to trade Max would be at the trade deadline, but that seems unlikely as well if the team is in playoff contention. And when it gets down to the specifics, it seems very unlikely the Tigers will trade him.
But if they don't trade him, what does that mean?
It could mean only a few things. Either the Tigers sign him to a long term deal or they let Scherzer go into free agency. With the recent Clayton Kershaw deal ($215 million/ 7 years), a bit of a blueprint has been laid for what Scherzer's potential deal would be worth. But the main question is, are the Tigers going to be the team to sign him to it? Other team have been rumored to have interest in Max, including the New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves, and Chicago White Sox. This could be very enticing not only to Scherzer, but to his agent Scott Boras, whom is notorious for signing gigantic deals to enter free agency. And with all of this competetition, it could be very difficult for the Tigers to sign him back. Another question is, would they even consider signing him back? Or would they look to the market to sign an upcoming FA that would be cheaper such as Justin Masterson, James Shields, or Homer Bailey?
Jim Bowden of ESPN.com states that "If Scherzer can repeat his 2013 campaign or do anything close to replicating it in 2014, he'll probably become the second-highest paid pitcher in baseball history, behind Kershaw." That sounds a bit intimidating. Another thing to keep in mind is that Miguel Cabrera's contract expires after the 2015 season and we all know he won't come cheap.
What is up David Dombroski's sleeve is unclear and what the future holds is even foggier. And so the legend of Mad Max Scherzer continues...