With the Winter Caravan barnstorming tour starting today and 2013 AL Cy Young Max Scherzer taking part, you had to believe the possibility of a contract extension would be brought up sooner than later.
Hope you had your money on 'sooner.'
Jason Beck reports Scherzer addressed his contract status today, essentially starting the clock ticking on negotiations by stating he will not talk contract during the season. But Scherzer also said all the right things about a new deal, claiming he was 'optimistic' about his contract situation and hoped something could be done by spring training.
Pressed for details, Scherzer said he would be 'more comfortable' playing on a one-year deal. Scherzer went on, saying every player hopes to be a free agent, but knows he has a good thing in Detroit. He then added a new deal could be taken care of in the off season if they cannot come to an agreement in the near term.
The Tigers' Ace 1B to Justin Verlander's Ace 1A, Scherzer avoided going to arbitration with the team when he agreed on a one-year, $15.525 million contract earlier this week. At that time, Tigers' GM Dave Dombrowski said their main focus was getting Scherzer's under contract for 2014, adding the organization would 'explore' a long-term deal for the reigning Cy Young winner.
It's safe to assume Scherzer being 'optimistic' on his situation was just so many words to appease fans and media. Being he's represented by uber-agent Scott Boras, due to be a free agent at the end of the 2014 season, and seeing the crazy money deals Clayton Kershaw (seven years for $215 million, $30.1 million average) and Masahiro Tanaka (seven years for $155 million, $22 million average), it's a near lock he will hit the open market looking for a long-term deal which will pay him in the range of $20 million a season.
Scherzer may get it, but will the Tigers be team willing to pay it?
To throw a little more fuel on the fire, this is what Scherzer had to say when he arrived in Detroit. It just happened to be at the same time as an Alberta Clipper, which has temperatures in the single digits and wind chills dropping below zero.
Mother of god...9 degrees here in Det. Glad I brought my 1 coat from Phx. Ready to get back to 73-77F or what I call it #PerfectDegreesF— Max Scherzer (@Max_Scherzer) January 23, 2014