Central Notes: Scherzer, Cubs, Cardinals

Max Scherzer of the Tigers is one potential beneficiary of Clayton Kershaw's huge new contract, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. Now that Kershaw has signed, Scherzer and Jon Lester become the top 2014-2015 free agent pitchers. Scherzer obviously isn't likely to top Kershaw's $215MM total, but the prospect of hitting the free-agent market probably just became even more attractive for Scherzer, which should make it even tougher for the Tigers to first sign him long-term. Scherzer and the Tigers recently agreed on a one-year deal worth $15.525MM for 2014, avoiding arbitration. Here are more notes from the Central divisions.

  • Theo Epstein says the Cubs aren't through making moves this offseason, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times tweets. The team has an offer pending with Masahiro Tanaka, and would like to get another pitcher even if Tanaka signs elsewhere.
  • Former pitcher Chris Carpenter is set to join the Cardinals' front office, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes. The two parties appear to have agreed on Carpenter's role, but he does not yet seem to have an official title. He will be involved in scouting, and will participate in big-league spring training in some capacity.
  • The Cardinals and Matt Carpenter could discuss an extension in spring training, but are not likely to reach a deal anytime soon, Goold notes.

45 Responses to Central Notes: Scherzer, Cubs, Cardinals Leave a Reply

  1. beisbolista 1 year ago

    Call me crazy… I’m enjoying the Scherzer hype as much as the next guy, but I think he really needs to post another big year before he belongs in the same discussion with Lester let alone Kershaw.

    • X Marks the Spot 1 year ago

      They should of seen this coming with Kershaw’s big contract. They should of kept Fister and could of signed him for less. Trade Max and hauled in a bunch of prospects. No way they sign both Max and Miggy to a new contract. Its either one or the other.

    • Sky14 1 year ago

      I agree he is not near the same class as Kershaw, but who really is? As for Lester, I think they are comparable unless Scherzer repeats 2013 than he clearly is top of the FA class. Both have a lot riding on their performance next year though I have a hard time imagining Lester playing anywhere other than Boston.

    • Jeffy25 1 year ago

      He’s been better then Lester.

      Kershaw yes though

      • beisbolista 1 year ago

        Recent results for both pitchers speak for themselves, you’re right. But there are other issues of comparison, i.e. division, ballpark sizes, L/R, etc.

    • BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

      I think the point was that the free agent market for starters got smaller (not that anyone seriously figured Kershaw was going there). I’m not sure I agree with the logic that extending the other pitchers just got “tougher,” though it might have gotten more expensive. Rarely do we see players extend with their current teams for under market value anyway. So whether they are extended or become free agents, they’re going to get market.

      • beisbolista 1 year ago

        I agree, except in the rare case of the home town discount, as we recently saw with Pedroia. But I suppose that can happen on the open market too. The only difference is that during extension talks, mouth watering offers are not coming in from other teams at the same time. It’s a rare case anyhow, how often do we really see it anymore?

        • BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

          Sure, a players “home town” isn’t necessarily where he is currently playing, but that only rarely matters anyway. All the speculation about Kershaw really wanting to play in his native Texas predictably didn’t amount to anything. Teams and agents have a good handle on market values. Teams generally only get a “discount” for extensions to the extent that it hedges somewhat against salary inflation.

          • beisbolista 1 year ago

            “Home town” meaning the team where the player is already under contract, usually for the entirety of his career so far.

          • BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

            I get it. What I was saying is sometimes players are rumored to be interested in returning to where they grew up and are maybe willing to give up something for that.

    • TheRealRyan 1 year ago

      Scherzer isn’t in Kershaw’s class, but he is still going to get a huge payday. Over the last three years he is top 25 in ERA and IP and top 15 in FIP, xFIP and WAR. He is a legitimate #1 who is going to get $150+ million in FA.

  2. danimal0630 1 year ago

    The cubs aren’t through making moves this winter?!?! When are they gonna start? Clark the cub doesn’t count! Simply making an offer to Tanaka doesn’t count in my book either

    • CubsFan5 1 year ago

      They aren’t going to make moves just to make moves. The moves have to make sense and fall in line with the timeline of the team.

      • Ben Roberts 1 year ago

        What exactly IS the “timeline of the team”? Seems like they are just floundering around with mediocrity. No real direction.

        • CubsFan5 1 year ago

          If they land Tanaka, the 2015 team could be competitive. At the Cubs Convention they’re very confident in their ability to sign him. If they don’t land him. 16′. We’ve tried the “sign free agents approach” and it didn’t work.

        • ChrisDaFranchizeHart 1 year ago

          If you think they are floundering around with mediocrity with “no real direction” than you have been paying absolutley no attention to this team. They have laid out a clear plan with a timeline for around 2015 and 16 build around their #2 ranked farm system in baseball. I understand someone taking issue with that plan but by stating that they dont have one is completely false.

          • Ben Roberts 1 year ago

            I’ll be the first to admit that I have no clue about the Cubs prospects. That being said the ML team leaves a lot to be desired. Couple of solid type hitters then it’s pretty bleak. Likewise the rotation is very shaky. Take it from someone who was a fan of a team that played the “Prospects are coming” game for a LOOONNGGG time… 2 out of 3 fail when they make the leap to the ML level.

        • Run Support Group 1 year ago

          As a mets fan I wish our system was stacked with hitting like the Cubs. To say they’re floundering in mediocrity is not true when they have an absolutely LOADED farm system, hitting wise. Olt, Baez, Alcanata

          • Eric Foster 1 year ago

            That’s funny-
            I love the Cubs hitting prospects.
            But I’m always using the Mets young arms as where I’d like the team to be with pitching.
            You guys will have an outstanding rotation when everyone is healthy.

      • Jeff Weissbuch 1 year ago

        I am a Big time Brewer fan and Cub Hater but even I see the plan the Cubs are doing. Signing people for the sake of it is the problem the Cubs and other teams have done in the past

        • burtonbball88 1 year ago

          What do you think of how the Brewers are approaching the market? Did the Lohse signing make sense to you? Just wondering.

      • danimal0630 1 year ago

        I understand that. It was a momentary frustration. The process seems to be going the right way, but if these prospects don’t pan out, then this team is in trouble. Let’s be honest here, how many prospects become all-stars and cornerstones of a franchise? There’s a lot of faith being put into the “process”. As a lifelong Cubs fans, the wait is hard sometimes.

        Am I saying make moves to appease people? No way! To sign Ellsbury, Choo, McCann, etc. would’ve been a mistake. They would’ve made little to no improvements to this team, especially when the expected window of contention is a couple years away at least.

        My comment was simply about the Cubs not being done making moves this winter when they’ve done nothing to really improve the team at all, long term or short term. Chris Coghlin (sp?) and Justin Ruggiano are not worth even mentioning.

        • CubsFan5 1 year ago

          Ruggiano was traded for to break up 3 lefties in the outfield. They needed a platoon player that mashes lefty pitching. You’re forgetting Veras and Wright who along with Russell, Strop, and Parker form a pretty solid bullpen. If they sign Tanaka they have a rotation of Tanaka, Shark, Wood, Jackson, and (Arrieta or whoever they feel fits best) The only glaring weakness then becomes the offense.

    • Kyleg182 1 year ago

      Theo Epstein did us Red Sox fans a great service, it took him a few years to repair a losing team but he brought in Ortiz, (edit: not Damon), Schilling and so on, bringing us 2 WS wins in his 9 years and a good handful of Divisional Series opportunities. While the Red Sox had more money to spend, it took him a few years. He’s been there for 2 years, entering his third in the Cubs front office. Don’t forget the Cuban, Jorge Soler, who’s gonna be great. They got Rizzo, Castro, Barney, Samardzija, and plenty more.Expect them to be in the running within the next 3 years and don’t underestimate Epstein. Cubs got that TV deal cash coming in too so I’m sure some big signings will come soon.

      • start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

        Damon was a Dan Duquette signing.

      • danimal0630 1 year ago

        I’m not ready to anoint Theo the king of Cubdom. I’m not taking away from what he did in Boston, but each situation is different. I’m pretty happy with what has happened so far, but this team needs pitching and these prospects need to pan out for this to work. I’m hopeful, but a Cubs fan with hope…well I’ll let someone else finish that sentence off.

    • Eric Foster 1 year ago

      What do you want?
      To spend a ton of money on a team that isn’t ready to contend?
      Tanaka makes sense.
      Did you want Ellsbury? That money would be much better served used NEXT offseason once the prospect situation starts to clarify.
      Going big on Tanaka was the only real necessary move for a team looking to START contending in 2015-2016.

      • danimal0630 1 year ago

        No, not at all. Going after Ellsbury or Choo would’ve made no sense. I’m a realistic Cubs fan, not someone saying spend money to spend money. It just gets frustrating waiting for the process at times.

        I do have some faith in the process, and I like the prospects we have. The problem is that’s just what they are, prospects. If they don’t pan out, our offense doesn’t come around. We don’t have much pitching coming up soon, so Tanaka would help, IF the hitting prospects pan out.

        I know I’m hurt by the Hendry era, where Patterson and Pie and the like were the next big thing, but it’s hard to just sit here and say the hitters are coming. There’s nothing in this free agent class that would speed up the process other than Tanaka (possibly), but that’s not a given either. He has a lot of miles on his arm, and who knows if he can even be a good MLB pitcher.

        I’ve been waiting my whole life, sometimes it hits harder than others. Wait til next year has always been my motto.

  3. MadmanTX 1 year ago

    Hope they’re ready to get Matt Garza back because I believe Tanaka will sign in either LA or NY at this point.

  4. egarym 1 year ago

    Does this mean the Cubs are satisfied with their current offense? No lead off man and no clean up hitter? Just a bunch of 6,7 hitters?

    • Run Support Group 1 year ago

      Anthony Rizzo seems like he could develop into a 4 hitter this year.

      • cubtex 1 year ago

        Really? Based on what?

      • Eric Foster 1 year ago

        I’m really worried about his splits against lefties.
        I think he’s a low average hitter who probably hits 20-25 bombs but plays really nice defense.
        I like Vogelbach in the system. He’s not trade-bait. The guy can rake.

    • alphabet_soup5 1 year ago

      Kris Bryant will solve that problem soon.

    • cubtex 1 year ago

      Part of the plan

  5. Jeffy25 1 year ago

    I wonder what carpenter would fetch in an extension. Maybe something like Craig?

    Buy out his prime with some club options.

    • Drew M 1 year ago

      Im a huge Carpenter fan, but I really want to see what he does in his second full year. If he can hit .300 with a good OBP and 40+ doubles then id give him a Craig type extension.

  6. kungfucampby 1 year ago

    No way the Tigers can afford Scherzer AND Miguel Cabrera. Tigers should have traded Scherzer this year and kept Fister.

  7. neurogame 1 year ago

    As a Dodger fan, I a jealous the Cardinals have Matt Carpenter. That guy can flat out play ball.

  8. Jay Sanders 1 year ago

    Kershaw has a career 2.6 ERA….Scherzers ERA has never been lower than 2.9. Scherzer should get around $20 mil per year, but definitely not anything close to Kershaw money.

  9. Tigers72 1 year ago

    Tigers could trade Scherzer still and sign either Tanaka or Garza. Then you would basically be trading Scherzer and Fister for Garza/Tanaka Ray, Krol , Lombo and whatever Scherzer gets you. Also your saving money.

  10. TheRealRyan 1 year ago

    I don’t think that Kershaw’s contract will have too much bearing on Scherzer. The two contracts that will have the biggest affect on Scherzer will be Greinke’s and Tanaka’s. Scherzer and Greinke have very similar numbers, so I can see 6/159 as the starting point. The problem is if Tanaka really costs a total of 6/140-150 including posting fee, I have a hard time seeing a recent Cy Young winner and #1 SP only getting 6/159. I’m thinking he ends up signing for something around 6/165-170.

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