Extension talks with Tigers starter Max Scherzer have not yet begun, his agent, Scott Boras, told the press on Monday. The right-hander is under contract with Detroit through the 2014 season.
"Dave and I usually do things like that in the offseason," Boras said. "I talked to Dave a few days ago about a number of things, but contract things we take care of in the offseason. ...
"I don't think Detroit fans should all be scared of free agency. If I'm not mistaken, I think free agency has been very good to the Detroit Tigers."
There are a few components to consider when discussing re-signing Scherzer.
1) Is there money left in the budget to keep Miguel Cabrera? Scherzer's had a good amount of success in Detroit, but if you can only keep one ... it's not him. (Related: What kind of commitment does Scherzer want?)
2) What's the plan for Drew Smyly? He is waiting in the wings to join the rotation and will certainly be successful there, judging by the time he's already been in Detroit, first as a starter, now as a reliever.
3) What is Scherzer worth to Detroit in a trade and/or if they let him walk after 2014. If he can help shore up other positions (think: Curtis Granderson trade) for a few years to come, maybe you have to go that direction.
I'm not even going to attempt to answer those questions right now, though. I think you tackle them in the offseason -- just as any extension talk belongs in the offseason.
For now, we can just continue to enjoy Scherzer. He started the season 13-0, and had not lost a game in 22 starts. He's second in strikeouts in the AL, five behind leader Yu Darvish. He's going nearly an inning deeper in games this year compared to last. Seventy-four percent of his starts earn the Quality Start. And tonight he'll be starting the All-Star Game for the American League. With Justin Verlander appearing merely average by Verlanderian standards, Scherzer picked a great time to have a heck of a year.