On Sunday morning, an announcement came from the Detroit Tigers that they have been unsuccessful in their attempts to extend 2013 Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer, and have tabled extension talks for the rest of spring training and the entire regular season. This could be unsurprising to many people, as Scherzer`s agent, Scott Boras, is famous for forgoing a long term deal to test the open market, ultimately getting top dollar for his clients.
Scherzer was spectacular for the Detroit Tigers in 2013, going 13-0 in his first 20 starts and finished with a 2.90 ERA, 10.1 K/9, and 21 wins. His magnificent season propelled Detroit to the postseason once again, while beating out Japanese import Yu Darvish for the American League Cy Young Award. The right-hander has professed his love for playing in Detroit publicly many times, but will still seek the top dollar along with agent Scott Boras.
However, the Tigers made an announcement Sunday morning that could very well end his time in the Motor City, declaring that Scherzer will very likely test free agency after failing to reach an agreement, which the Tigers said would have made him among the wealthiest pitchers in the majors.
ESPN`s Jayson Stark reported the offer was a slightly smaller sum than the extension agreed to with Justin Verlander last spring, meaning Scherzer could have made over $24 million per season. According to mulitiple reports, the offer was for six years and $144 million. Personally, turning down life changing money after just one ace-level season seems foolish. We don’t know whether or not there was an opt-out in the contract, which has become a hot commodity in these big deal extensions just as Clayton Kershaw received an opt-out in his mammoth deal.
This is all phenomenal news for the Cubs and their winning-hungry fans, as this presents yet another big opportunity for next year`s starting pitching free agent class. Scherzer will join Justin Masterson and James Shields on the open market after the season, giving the Cubs top arms to choose from. While Jon Lester is likely to extend his contract with the Boston Red Sox.
It is very realistic to think the Cubs can grab one of these arms, as they have all the money left over from this offseason, and there will be a whole lot more motivation to spend, as the team will be much closer to contention and will need a true number one or two starter, such as Scherzer.
According to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN, the report was inaccurate and switched up the team and Scherzer. Boras insists Scherzer offered the club a contract that the Tigers declined.
While it may be unfortunate to some fans that the Cubs did not spend big money on a pitcher this offseason, the future is very bright in the pursuit for an arm, as we all would much rather sign a top arm like Scherzer, Shields, or Masterson to really push the Cubs over the bump in the National League Central division.
This news on Scherzer’s pending free agency may dishearten Detroit fans, but Cubs fans definitely have something great to look forward to after a likely rough 2014 season.