Reactions To Tigers’ Scherzer Statement

The Tigers issued an unorthodox statement yesterday morning: 

The Detroit Tigers have made a substantial, long-term contract extension offer to Max Scherzer that would have placed him among the highest paid pitchers in baseball, and the offer was rejected. As we have reiterated, it has been the organization’s intent to extend Max’s contract and keep him in a Tigers uniform well beyond the 2014 season. While this offer would have accomplished that, the ballclub’s focus remains on the start of the upcoming season, and competing for a World Championship. Moving forward there will be no further in-season negotiation and the organization will refrain from commenting on this matter.

As reported by ESPN's Jerry Crasnick later Sunday, Boras countered with a statement mirroring that of the team:

Max Scherzer made a substantial long-term contract extension offer to the Detroit Tigers that would have placed him among the highest-paid pitchers in baseball, and the offer was rejected by Detroit.  Max is very happy with the city of Detroit, the fans and his teammates, and we will continue negotiating with the Tigers at season's end.

The Tigers' last offer to Scherzer was reported by Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports to match Cole Hamels' July 2012 deal with the Phillies: six years, $144MM.

The legendary Peter Gammons asked rhetorically this morning, "What did the Tigers achieve painting their Cy Young as greedy?"  As we ponder the team's decision to make their frustration public, here's more on the situation…

  • Scherzer's side suggested to the Tigers that $144MM is an "old market price," reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, with the new market being Clayton Kershaw's $215MM deal and the Yankees' $175MM outlay for Masahiro Tanaka.
  • Scherzer turns 30 in July, and his age plays against him in comparisons to megadeals for younger starting pitchers, writes Yahoo's Jeff Passan.  Passan argues, however, that Scherzer's workload is relatively light at 18,643 pitches thrown in in his career.  Passan feels that "The ceiling is now Kershaw. Boras doesn't traffic in floors."  Further, the writer feels the Tigers' statement was "classic grandstanding and reeked of insecurity."
  • The Tigers' cozy relationship with Boras is no more, writes Morosi.  "Boras did not have direct dialogue with [owner Mike] Ilitch during the Scherzer negotiations," writes Morosi, in contrast to the Prince Fielder negotiations in the 2011-12 offseason.
  • ESPN's Jim Bowden feels Scherzer should have overruled Boras and accepted the Tigers' offer, which Bowden feels is fair market value by way of a Zack Greinke comparison.  Bowden credits Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski for drawing a line in the sand on Scherzer.
  • Tim's take: the Tigers made a reasonable bid, though not one at the level typically required for a star Boras client to eschew free agency when it's so close.  The public statement was a misstep, seemingly made out of frustration.  The Tigers' offer would have Scherzer tied for the fifth-largest contract for a starting pitcher, and doesn't seem to account for inflation of salaries since Hamels signed in the summer of 2012.  There's no word that the Tigers included an opt-out clause, which was included in all the bigger deals: Kershaw, C.C. Sabathia, Tanaka, and Greinke.  Now, is it actually a smart baseball move to give Scherzer a seven-year deal worth more than $180MM covering his age 30-36 seasons?  Probably not.     


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88 Comments on "Reactions To Tigers’ Scherzer Statement"


danistheguy
1 year 4 months ago

Solid troll, Boras! Not bad.

erm016
1 year 4 months ago

LOL @ using Kershaw as a foundation for negotiations. Scherzer is no Clayton, not even a distant cousin.

NorthOf49
1 year 4 months ago

They’ve been identical by FIP- over the past two seasons. Scherzer’s close, and Kershaw probably took a slight discount to stay with the Dodgers. $200M is very possible.

Tom Sweeney
1 year 4 months ago

They are not close at all. Max is 30 years old, has a delivery that had people worried whether he would be a starter long-term when he was a prospect and exactly one year where he was the best pitcher in the AL.

Clayton Kershaw is like 23 or 24, has multiple years of being the best pitcher in baseball, is left handed, and has been a horse in terms of IP.

Kershaw is younger and more proven. I love Max Scherzer, but he’s not Clayton Kershaw.

LordOfTheSwings
1 year 4 months ago

Kershaw actually just turned 26.
Regardless, he’s clearly better than Scherzer.
Even if Scherzer is as good as Kershaw, he has to prove that by having more than one great year,

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 4 months ago

FIP- is just about the only stat in which Scherzer has matched Kershaw. Not even the most devoted sabermetrician would argue that Scherzer has been any where near as dominant as Kershaw over the past 2 years.

Also I wouldn’t call securing the largest AAV ever with an op-out after 5 years taking a “discount to stay with the Dodgers.”

NorthOf49
1 year 4 months ago

FIP- is the most important past performance stat there is. Over the past two seasons, Kershaw and Scherzer have been equally dominant on a per-inning basis.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 4 months ago

You cant simply ignore the fact that Kershaw is younger, his career FIP is nearly 1 run lower, and that over the last 3 year Kershaw has averaged 6.1 fWAR per season, Scherzer has averaged 4.5 fWAR. That type of disparity is more than a statistical aberration. FIP-, like any stat, is not a be all end all evaluation of a pitcher you need to look at a collection of stats.

1 year 4 months ago

You had to filter by innings pitched because Max has trouble with innings pitched. He broke 200 one time by age 30 and never has pitched a complete game.
What he. does this year will determine what he gets. He just assumed all the risk. We will see if the reward is worth the risk.

westcoastwhitesox
1 year 4 months ago

great point. He is very confident his 2014 will be as good or better than his 2013.

rj fisher
1 year 4 months ago

Even if Kershaw and Max have been equals the last two years, Kershaw is just 26 whereas Max turns 30 this season. Four years is a big difference for a starting pitcher. Kershaw is also a lefty, a more valuable commodity.

LazerTown
1 year 4 months ago

No they haven’t. Kershaw is in his own league. And you can’t just isolate FIP and use it as a basis for a large contract. Also consider that in past 2 years, Kershaw has pitched 60+ more innings in that timeframe. Not every players falls exactly on what his FIP says he should be. Some players outproduce it regularly and some never live up to it. To me FIP is a good stat to see if the pitcher’s era was a fluke, or whether he really turned a corner.

1 year 4 months ago

Check your stats. I think Max is midway between Kershaw and Hamels the last two years

homer
homer
1 year 4 months ago

Anyone can find a stat on any person to support their point of view. Kershaw is younger and has been beyond excellent the last three years. Scherzer is no slouch but last year was his first excellent year.

NorthOf49
1 year 4 months ago

Except that FIP- is THE per-inning past performance stat that matters. Kershaw obviously has the edge because he tends to throw more innings, but it’s not a stretch to say that Scherzer can get the Kershaw contract with another good season.

1 year 4 months ago

It seems pretty clear that after 30 days of negotiations and exchanging offers back and forth, Boras never put an reasonable offer on the table. He was just trying to use Detroit to get the floor raised as high as possible.

mking
1 year 4 months ago

Get rid of Boras, Max. You’ll be much happier.

What happens if Max doesn’t have a season like last? Always a chance to happen, he blew up last year – then what? Do we negotiate on 2014 stats, or revert back to that Cy Young year? This is too much.

burnboll
1 year 4 months ago

Good move on Detroits part.
I disagree with Tim Dierkes in that I believe it was a good move to make a statement. It serves as an explanation to the fans, ie those who fuel the revenue, why Max Scherzer wasn’t signed.
Detroit are smart to move on from Scherzer. Let someone else pay for his 30’s.
That being said, I believe Scherzer still has 2-3 great years in him. But not to the tune of 25 mil per year.

Tom Sweeney
1 year 4 months ago

As much as I hate to let Scherzer walk, anything above the offer the Tigers put out there would be insane and would more likely than not burn the team in a big way.

burnboll
1 year 4 months ago

Theyll have Scherzer for this year.
And then theyll get a draft pick compensation.
Scherzer wont get any better likely. He’s at his best right now, and it would be bad management to invest in his coming years.
Dombrowski shows how it’s done.

hmmmidk
1 year 4 months ago

My thoughts are they should move him by midseason, no matter if they are in contention or not. His value may have peaked and I doubt the Tigers would be satisfied with a late 1st rd/sandwich pick basically in exchange for an elite tier pitcher.

stl_cards16
1 year 4 months ago

That’s insane. The goal is to win a World Series and the Tigers have as good a chance as they’re going to have in years this season. Should the Cardinals have traded Albert Pujols in 2011 instead of only getting draft picks?

hmmmidk
1 year 4 months ago

Pujols plays/played everyday. He had several years of solid production. He was a proven commodity, something that I feel Scherzer is not. Scherz-dog is only 2 years removed from a minor league stint to “find himself” and posted career numbers last year. The only way his stock will rise is if he sustains/surpasses what looks like a fluke year.
As the injuries rack up around the league, I’d hate to handcuff the team financially for the rest of the decade on the off chance they go all the way this year (with, let’s face it, a team that has definitely been downgraded from the past 2 years). Look at the pickle Texas is finding themselves in. Taking over Fielder’s contract and adding Choo’s massive deal looked like a great way to win now, but with a couple key injuries their narrow window may have closed a tad more.

And everyone needs an ace. (which max is not on his current team (sorry max))

1 year 4 months ago

Nobody is going to need him more than Detroit and no one is going to assume his salary and give you something really meaningful in return. They don’t need to dump his salary. They need to keep drawing 3 million.

EmDash
1 year 4 months ago

Why not wait until after the season to make the announcement, though? The way they did it now, it will linger as a story over the whole year. It could be as a way to prepare fans for him to be traded, but it’s hard to picture them doing that now that they’ve depleted depth by getting rid of Fister unless they somehow fall out of contention (which is unlikely).

burnboll
1 year 4 months ago

They would’ve been asked about it the whole season, and fans would have grown angry with the Tigers.
Now they set the record straight and takes charge.
Boras dropped the ball on this.
This was the best possible outcome for the Tigers.

stl_cards16
1 year 4 months ago

The best possible outcome for the Tigers is Max Scherzer pitching at the top of their rotation for the next 5 years. If this leaking hurts those chances, it was a poor move.

You know what the best PR move is? Winning baseball games. That’s what the front office needs to focus on. Not trying to make their players look bad.

homer
homer
1 year 4 months ago

Whose leak because I heard about the Boras leak yesterday before the tigers leak. So did Boras sabotage his client?

hmmmidk
1 year 4 months ago

JV is still top of the rotation.

Kirk Edward Gerwin
1 year 4 months ago

I disagree, if he has another good year and he does move on then the fans would be on the FO hard. Now the fans are aware of what was attempted prior to free agency. We made an offer well beyond what he was worth and he rejected it. I’d do a QO at the end of the season and go from there. If he walks so be it. It would be money spent better elsewhere. He says he wants to be here so it’s time to either put up or shut up.

burnboll
1 year 4 months ago

Strange to see such nonsensical reason coming from a cardinals fan. Moz is a text book example on paying for future production and not past.

Tigers can most likely use the 30 mil per year Scherzer wanted in a much more efficient way.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 4 months ago

Reactions To Tigers’ Scherzer Statement
I don’t know man, does Scherzer want to play for the Yankees or Rangers?
Who else can afford him?
As a fan I am not really down with paying high ticket prices just so a ball player can get a super huge contract. It’s absurd!
Plus, the he doesn’t even have a complete game under his belt.

EmDash
1 year 4 months ago

If player salaries went down to the minimum tomorrow, the ticket prices wouldn’t change at all. Those are a function of public demand, not the teams’ payrolls.

Kirk Edward Gerwin
1 year 4 months ago

That’s not entirely true. They will slide up based on it, but they won’t slide down if the reverse happens. Unless like you mentioned the public demand drops. They tend to go hand in hand though because when a team signs a big named free agent the demand tends to go up. They are linked, but not in the way a lot of people think about it.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 4 months ago

Scherzer has a case for exceeding Cole Hammels deal but Kershaw’s deal should not be used as a comparison.

liberalconservative
1 year 4 months ago

Looking at how Max will be turning 30 this year why would you give him a long term contract? I would never go past 35 on a starting pitcher because they lose speed. He is a speed ball pitcher. CC Sabathia has lost speed on his fast ball and is not a #1 starter anymore.

burnboll
1 year 4 months ago

Sabathia is a great pitcher. Can probably be decent enough with less velocity. While Scherzer is living on his high speed and the contrast to his breaking ball.
Scherzer may very well find himself this fall without any suitors.

1 year 4 months ago

Sabathia was a great pitcher.

1 year 4 months ago

Boras has resorted to trashing teams for not giving him what he wants and calling them cheap. I don’t blame the Tigers for getting out in front of this. Call it grandstanding and insecurity if you must. I call it telling your fans what they need to know.

BYOP
1 year 4 months ago

Surely for $144 million Scherzer could buy Detroit and the rest of Michigan, rename it and still have enough money to live the rest of his life in comfort.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 4 months ago

“What did the Tigers achieve?” – Gammons.

Simple: PR value with fans. No one can say they were trying to be cheap.

Wow, that was an easy question.

Is anyone on the Scherzer/Boras side of this? Surprised that a leading analyst would make this statement.

stl_cards16
1 year 4 months ago

Why does anyone have to pick a side. The Tigers had a number they felt comfortable offering Scherzer to keep him away from Free Agency. Scherzer had a number he was willing to accept to give up his one chance to pick what team he’d like to play for, city he’d like to live in, and allow any team to bid as much as they thought he was worth. The two numbers didn’t match up. It’s called business and neither party is wrong for an extension not getting done. There doesn’t always have to be a “bad guy”

bobbleheadguru
1 year 4 months ago

Basically a Pujols/Cardinal redux. Not much different.

stl_cards16
1 year 4 months ago

The Cardinals never went and made anything public. The Cardinals didn’t try to drag Pujols through the mud even after he signed with the Angels. So I don’t see much similar besides in both cases the team attempted to extend a player one-year from Free Agency and failed..

homer
homer
1 year 4 months ago

Because we as fans hold our teams accountable. If in this case Tiger fans thinks the team is low balling to let Scherzer walk than that creates a bad image to the fan base. Knowing the Boras history and his tendency to call out teams who do not give him what he wants the Tigers must have felt they were in line for the next lashing and wanted to be in front of it instead of trying to respond to “The Boras Spin”. Any other agent and none of this is public.

1 year 4 months ago

Strikes me as pandering to fans and acting unprofessionally. If I were a Tigers fan, I’d be offended on the player’s behalf. He certainly wasn’t going public with statements like that.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 4 months ago

I agree if they lowballed Scherzer.

However, their offer number was so astronomical, and the Scherzer counter number was so absurd beyond astronomical, that the Tigers cannot help but win this PR battle big time.

This is not much different than the Cardinals and Pujols.

I also disagree that the Boras camp does NOT do use “unprofessional PR” themselves.

Pawsdeep
1 year 4 months ago

I have to agree it was pandering, but respectfully disagree that it was wrong. The way Boras comes out and lights up teams to the tune of trying to incite riots in fans, it had to be done. Detroit is completely focused on winning now and we as tigers fans have been spoiled; he would have most certainly thrown Detroit under the bus(which he did first before the tigers made a statement from the timeframe I understand) and knows he can call out the front office to help get his way. I.e. Johnny Damon.

The tigers couldn’t have allowed themselves to look like the bad guys on this one. Especially if DD was true when he said ‘largest contract I’ve offered that’s been turned down”. The fans had to know he tried everything he could, especially with such a strange offseason by Detroits standard. He had every right to call out Boras, especially the way Boras has been selling out teams and the CBA when it was his misguided input that has been costing his players.

1 year 4 months ago

Boras crossed the line when he called the Mets cheap and tried to turn their fans against them. Boras’s past behavior left the Tigers no choice but to get out in front of this.

NickinIthaca
1 year 4 months ago

Yeah, that was the first thing that came to mind. For him to ever say in public how a team should be spending his money is overstepping his boundaries as an agent. Perhaps Drew would be a perfect fit for the Mets. But they aren’t going to compete this year, so why spend that money.

If Boras is convinced that his players are such perfect fits, why not offer to pay the first year of their salaries, with mutual options tied to a contract? A car dealer lets you test drive before taking a car off the lot. Boras can put his money where his mouth is if he is so convinced that his clients are perfect fits for clubs.

(note – I know that would never happen, but if he’s going to tell ball clubs how to spend their money, he can be told how to spend his)

1 year 4 months ago

Feb 23, 2014 Boras went public with an accusation the Jays ownership was sitting on money that should be spent on improving the club. What makes you so sure the Tigers weren’t next?

1 year 4 months ago

“the organization will refrain from commenting on this matter.”

Guessing there’s a bit of a disconnect in the meaning of that word “refrain” in the Tigers’ front office.

hmmmidk
1 year 4 months ago

The beginning of that sentence reads “Moving forward…”

1 year 4 months ago

Yes, I can see that… but the point is “that cat was already out of the bag.”

hmmmidk
1 year 4 months ago

I think DD wanted “the cat out of the bag” or he wouldn’t have had that statement released. On some level, they probably wanted to proactively quell any speculation for the season about an extension. Maybe it’s to soften the blow of a blockbuster.

The main point they were most likely trying to get across was “We have other things to worry about, for instance win ballgames.”

orangeoctober
1 year 4 months ago

i dont think id want my team to spend $180MM for a pitchers age 30-36 seasons either.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 4 months ago

100% of fans on talk radio (97.1 in Detroit) supporting the Tigers in this face-off.

PR statement worked big time. Tigers are NOT cheap message has been heard loud and clear.

Expect Cabrera to sign in the next week.

westcoastwhitesox
1 year 4 months ago

thanks for the local report!

EmDash
1 year 4 months ago

Even if they hadn’t put out this statement, the vast majority of fans would’ve had the same attitude about it if they’d just said that they couldn’t work out a deal. The tendency is pretty much always to take the team’s side and consider the player greedy.

chicothekid
1 year 4 months ago

Sometimes yes. There are STILL a lot of people upset with the Mets about the Reyes negotiations and how all of that played out.

1 year 4 months ago

An expensive deal for Scherzer could cripple the Tigers even if he doesn’t drop off. This team needs to stop adding mega deals when it’s sending away players like Fister for pennies on the dollar to save a couple bucks.

Benjamin Orr
1 year 4 months ago

Scherzer has one good year out of what, six, and thinks he deserves a huge payday? No way. Six-years/$144MM is a pretty nice contract, especially when you consider Scherzer is already 29 turning 30 in July and he rejects that? Wow. Don’t think many teams are going to overpay for him. I’m not trying to rag on him here, but what if he’s a one and done case? What if his ERA skyrockets to upper 3’s or low 4’s this year? Does he still think he’s in the same class as Kershaw and King Felix?

essmeier
1 year 4 months ago

My guess is that the public statement on the part of the Tigers is one that essentially says, “We made an effort, but he wants more than we are willing to pay. At season’s end, we will wish him the best.”

I do not expect negotiations to continue. I think the Tigers are done.

burnboll
1 year 4 months ago

I think Scherzer will find out this year what complete games entail.

Mike1L
1 year 4 months ago

Atmospherics, and maybe just a little frustration on the part of the Tigers not just in this negotiation, but also the Drew one. Boras isn’t an easy man to deal with. And, just speculation, the Tigers just spent the net equivalent of $76 Million for two years of Boras’ Prince Fielder. Maybe they think they are willing to overpay, but not feel fleeced. Scherzer is no Kershaw, “new ceiling” or not.

monroe_says
monroe_says
1 year 4 months ago

This is going to look a lot like it did when Juan Gonzalez turned down 8 years / 140 million from Detroit in 2000 – a gamble which ended up costing him 100 million in career earnings.

Bronx Bombers
1 year 4 months ago

I hope the Tigers overpay. But all jokes aside if they want to remain competitive they need to keep him especially after trading Fister.

Kirk Edward Gerwin
1 year 4 months ago

You’re obviously not a fan of baseball then. When 1 player gets overpaid then EVERY player gets overpaid. It changes the whole landscape for every player. Teams need to collectively get together and refuse to sign players to ridiculous contracts such as these.

LazerTown
1 year 4 months ago

The guy had one season deserving of this contract. He should take the money and run. He could repeat, but there also are great odds that he doesn’t.