Tigers, Scherzer Done Talking Extension For Season

3:00pm: Morosi tweets the Tigers' offer was for six years and $144MM, identical to Cole Hamels2012 extension.

1:07 pm: Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports also spoke with Boras and the agent indicated both sides were active in talks and there was a price point at which Scherzer would have said yes, but he declined to disclose the details of his proposal to the Tigers (Twitter links).

12:25 pm: Scott Boras tells ESPN.com it wasn't Scherzer who rejected the extension offer, but the Tigers. "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,'' Boras said. "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."

10:58am: An industry source told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that the Tigers' offer to Scherzer was for a slightly lower figure than the $25.7MM per year that Justin Verlander received in the extension he signed last spring.  However, the deal still would have placed Scherzer among the top six highest-paid pitchers in baseball in terms of average annual value.

That means that the offer would have averaged at least $24MM a year. The only pitchers currently earning that much or more are the Clayton Kershaw ($30.7MM per year), Verlander ($25.7MM), Felix Hernandez ($25MM), Zack Greinke ($24.5MM), C.C. Sabathia ($24.4MM), Cliff Lee ($24MM), and Cole Hamels ($24MM).

It's worth noting that there's no word yet on how many years the Tigers offered Scherzer or whether there was an opt-out clause in the final proposal.

8:11am: The Tigers announced that Max Scherzer has rejected the Tigers' latest extension offer, meaning that talks between the two sides are done for the season.  The pitcher has made it known that he would not negotiate a new contract during the 2014 season.

"This can be a major distraction," Scherzer said back in February. "I understand I have a chance to secure my future here with the team. I want that to happen. But at the same time, I’m not going to drag negotiations out into the season."

The Tigers' release indicates that the club made a "substantial, long-term contract extension offer…that would have placed him among the highest paid pitchers in baseball."  Moving forward, they say, there will be no further talks during the year.

Scherzer, a Scott Boras client, will play out his last arbitration-eligible season on a one-year, $15.525MM deal that broke the record for a raise by a five-year service time pitcher.  The 29-year-old was stellar last season, posting a 2.90 ERA with 10.1 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 214 1/3 innings. With Clayton Kershaw locked up and taken out of the 2015 free agent market, Scherzer will now stand as the premier pitcher next winter.   

While no one can reasonably use Kershaw as a comparable, his new seven-year, $215MM deal with the Dodgers certainly raises the ceiling for top starters like Scherzer.  As our own Jeff Todd noted in January, Masahiro Tanaka's seven-year, $155MM deal ($175MM when including $20MM posting fee) could have been relevant to Boras' case.

Edward Creech contributed to this post.


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101 Comments on "Tigers, Scherzer Done Talking Extension For Season"


Bill Couch
1 year 4 months ago

Trade him then. whats he going to do when he goes 14-11 with a 3.45 era

Michael
1 year 4 months ago

Boras will say that if he had a better infield, better run support and a more jovial locker room atmosphere, he would have been 21-4. That the 14 wins were accomplished on Scherzer’s grit and the 11 losses were not his fault. Then he’ll offer his thoughts on world affairs.

1 year 4 months ago

He can’t complain about the locker room or the run support. That is easily refuted. The infield was a huge problem. He has a good case there.

LordOfTheSwings
1 year 4 months ago

Well he’s won 15+ in each of the last 3 years and has lost 9 or less in each of those years… so that doesn’t seem likely, not to mention W-L record is a terrible indicator of value and he is very hard to predict.

Although that ERA would not be surprising.

1 year 4 months ago

W-L record will be relevant as long as they award championships based on it. In fantasy leagues it’s not that important.

LordOfTheSwings
1 year 4 months ago

Well they don’t award championships based on individual pitchers regular season W-L records.
I’m just saying, if Scherzer went 14-11 next year with a 3.35 ERA, as opposed to 16-8 with a 3.35 ERA (with the same innings, and ratios), that really doesn’t tell you anything about his future performance, nor do I think it would change the contract that he’d get in free agency either, as most GMs are smart enough to realize that.

publius varrus
1 year 4 months ago

Mr. Boras will say Pedro Martinez went 16-9, 3.90 in ’04 and BOS won the WS, now give Max his millions.

mmwatkin
1 year 4 months ago

Apparently the offer “would have placed him among the highest paid pitchers in baseball” according to the Tigers.

Maybe the Tigers offered just shy of Verlander’s current deal and Scherzer wanted to top it?

LordOfTheSwings
1 year 4 months ago

I wonder if that means among the highest total contracts, or highest AAVs.
I think all that really tells you that the offer was for 22m+/year for 6 or 7 years.
He probably is looking for something in the neighborhood of Verlander’s deal, and like you said, maybe more than Verlander.

1 year 4 months ago

Interesting and scary at the same time. I wonder what the offer was, someone will leak it eventually I suppose. Boras will probably use it later on as a leveraging device to say “you need to offer him more than what the Tigers did”. I’m scared because I DO NOT see it being a wise decision to offer Scherzer going into his age 30 season in 2015 a 7-year pact at top dollar (I’m looking at you Yankees).

Green_Monster08
1 year 4 months ago

At some point all the $ in the world is going to be paid to MLB players. Not every free agent gets to have $200 million. Not Yankee bashing but their constant overpay has forced other teams into same boat and the sport is being hurt.

JohnS
1 year 4 months ago

I will never understand this. One little ball up the middle, one little tweak of your arm, and one little getting into your car to leave the ball field and you trip. Anything can happen at anytime. To me he must not want to be a Tiger. If it’s as much money as this says, there is still a week before the season starts. To much time. He don’t want to be here. Trade him NOW!

stl_cards16
1 year 4 months ago

Where is proof the sport is being hurt? There is more money in baseball now than ever. The sport is thriving and that’s why you see these huge contracts.

Green_Monster08
1 year 4 months ago

I was more referring to the long term ramifications. The new TV $ is here and teams are spending like sailors on shore leave which is fine but they’re talking 35 – 40 mil a year for some guys like Miggy – Trout and at some point the TV $ is spent and people going to games will be paying $8 a hotdog and $15 a beer.

erm016
1 year 4 months ago

Not too far off from that already.

0vercast
1 year 4 months ago

Not to mention $55-70 per ticket to sit anywhere near the diamond in the lower deck. Also, the tickets prices rise about a 2% clip every year, and not long ago, it was a 1% per year.

And they wonder why stadiums are half full on weeknights.

Green_Monster08
1 year 4 months ago

yep, it’s the same cost for a family of 4 for 2 days at Disney as going to one Red Sox game in decent seats with everything all in.

0vercast
1 year 4 months ago

That’s why I haven’t been to Boston yet, even though Fenway is the ballpark I most want to see.

Every summer I try to make a trip to follow the Twins, and most of the prices around the US are about the same. However, Fenway is just nuts. Prices appeared to be about 3-4x as much as I paid in MIN, KC, ChiW, ChiC, CLE, DET, COL, or SEA.

Heck, I have two pairs at Coors Field this July, 4 rows above the Twins on-deck circle on a Fri and Sat for $75 a ticket, which is about face + $10. In Fenway, I’d get some pretty lousy tickets at that cost.

PaperLions
1 year 4 months ago

The fact is that EVERY MLB owner makes more money off of his team than the highest paid player makes during his career. Even the worst owners (Loria, McCourt) makes 100s of millions of dollars every few years. When a larger percent of the revenue generated by baseball talent goes to the talent rather than the extorting, monopolizing, facilitators….how is that a bad thing?

Kslackey
1 year 4 months ago

Because the owners aren’t going to see their personal profits drop, they will raise prices according to cost on the field. Ultimately, it hits the consumer. As long as we’re here to pay for the product.

PaperLions
1 year 4 months ago

That is not how market places work nor is it consistent with the relationship between ticket/concession prices and player salaries. Owners charge as much as they can to maximize profits. The only time prices go down is if the models used to set prices demonstrate that greater profits would be realized if cheaper tickets would result in attendance increases great enough to offset the reduced prices.

If players salaries were cut in 1/2 tomorrow, nothing would happen to ticket prices. Player salaries are what they are because fans are willing to spend so much money on baseball by buying tickets, merchandise, concessions, and cable/satellite TV. If fans spent less money, owners would make less and spend less on players….it doesn’t work the other way around, if you reverse the process, the result is called bankruptcy.

johnsilver
1 year 4 months ago

How much do you think ticket prices were before FA in 1974 and many players didn’t make more than 35-50k, perennial AS, such as Yaz, Bench made 150-200k? You think inflated tickets were for the best seats 200 dollars? Not hardly.

Not saying FA was bad, cause in many ways it was good, it forced Charlie O’Finley, Bill Veeck and Calvin Griffith out of the game, but it gave players the right to switch teams.

What it also did, was allow lawyers in, many with -0- interest at anything but greed. The players are looking out for themselves, granted. If they are injured, their respective career could be over. If a team fails because of a bad contract (or 2) at massive levels? How many people could be out of a job? We have almost seen that situation already in Texas and a lesser degree in LA under different circumstances.

Entirely 100% more risk being held with business owners everywhere and many just never will get that through their heads.

PaperLions
1 year 4 months ago

Yeah, owning a MLB team is totally risky, look at all the guys that lost money doing it over the last few decades.

Your general comparison is ignoring many factors (inflation, the growth of the middle class, changes in spending habitats and expendable income) but mostly how markets work. Tickets cost what they cost because millions of people buy that at that price and consider it a reasonable price to pay. If people didn’t buy tickets at those prices, they would cost less…just like everything else that has a price based 100% on maximizing profits.

Teams with expensive tickets don’t have expensive tickets because they have expensive rosters….they have expensive rosters because they are in markets in which a lot of people will spend a lot of money following their baseball team, and the spending of the fans allows the teams to spend more on players. The cause of rising players salaries is the money fans spend on the sport…the cause of the money fans spend on the sport is not player salaries.

johnsilver
1 year 4 months ago

“Yeah, owning a MLB team is totally risky, look at all the guys that lost money doing it over the last few decades.”

The 1st rule of business is to try and set yourself up to NOT lose money. Many, many businesses have a 50% markup at the retail level, including one I was in (management) for nearly 30 years. Sound outlandish? Want to stay in business, afford salaries, insurance, taxes, pay for advertising and other things many that refuse to think about cost, they had better if want to keep America working.

John
1 year 4 months ago

There is almost zero risk involved in owning a major sports franchise, outside of maybe the NHL (I don’t know much about hockey finances). Teams have guaranteed consumer bases and do not have to do anything to keep them. Take a team like the Pirates. 17 straight losing seasons. If they were any type of a real corporation and put out a cheap, inferior product that fans routinely protested against for that long, they would certainly be out of business. Do you think that the owners lost any money over that period, or did they likely earn well over $100 million dollars? Is that somehow because they are such brilliant businessmen? Or because they are in a business where, if you can afford a franchise, you win. No matter what. Same goes for the NFL and most NBA teams. Just look at the Knicks.

anon_coward
1 year 4 months ago

in the 80s it was a little less than $10 for Mets tix in the cheapest seats. a little less than today. the lower level seats can run $300 per game along with all the crap they sell these days including the restaraunts at the ball parks

except now you can watch most of the games on TV now instead of baking in the summer sun

Obama
1 year 4 months ago

Those extorting monopolizing facilitators are the only reason why there is an organized game. Envious populists these days…

Kirk Edward Gerwin
1 year 4 months ago

He will get a QO so it’s not like he’s going to walk away with us getting nothing. Unless he wants to sit out next season until June. But with that being said I think he will still end up resigning.

1 year 4 months ago

This is a good idea if Scherzer wanted a raise that passed Tanaka or approached Kershaw. Scherzer has been an ace for exactly one year. No team should feel comfortable paying him over 20 million a season until he has another elite year.

Detroit is also probably better off not paying him a massive salary in the long run anyway if they want to keep Cabrera and still have wiggle room for Tori Hunter like players to supplement their elite core.

ZackD
1 year 4 months ago

“Among the highest paid players” is sort of vague, is that AAV, total compensation, etc.
Highest SP salary in 2014 is 26m, #15 is 16m – that’s a large gap, especially when that’s per year over 5-8 years.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 4 months ago

It was reported that he would be Top 6. That would be $24MM/year.

ZackD
1 year 4 months ago

Well Tigers turned down his offer , not the other way around.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 4 months ago

This is good news for the Tigers.

The Red Sox have proven that you can with the WS with ZERO $20MM/year players. There is no reason the Tigers need 3.

“Right Fit” free agents at a mid-level salary makes much more sense from a risk/reward standpoint. Better to fill 2-3 positions for the cost of one Scherzer.

I do hope they lock up Cabrera. Unlike Scherzer, he is a “once every 50 years player” for the Tigers.

MB923
1 year 4 months ago

“The Red Sox proved you can with the WS with ZERO $20MM/year players”

Pretty sure teams like the Cards and Giants have done that already (don’t forget Barry Zito was not even on the postseason team in 2010, he’s the only Giant who makes north of $20 million I believe)

MB923
1 year 4 months ago

Actually I stand corrected. 2013 was the only year Zito made $20 million. His AAV was less than $20 million

He’s still a free agent if I’m not mistaken as well

bobbleheadguru
1 year 4 months ago

Your are completely right:

Giants (twice), Cardinals (twice), now Red Sox (after they redid their team). Build the MIDDLE of your team and you have a better chance of winning WS. Top heavy teams are too risky.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 4 months ago

… Also good PR move to let the Scherzer offered number leak. Slightly less than Verlander (which is good for Verlander’s ego) BUT much higher than most reasonable analysts would expect ($24MM+ AAV) and Top 6 EVER.

There is no way anyone can say the Tigers were “cheap” or were intentionally trying to cut payroll.

Bob Bunker
1 year 4 months ago

In reality, the Red Sox did not win a championship without a 20 plus million dollar player, they merely used the contact system in Mlb to under pay three guys (Ellsbury, Lester, and Pedroia) while getting amazing production. However, now they have lost Ellsbury because they wouldn’t pay him the 20 million and might (tho prob not) lose Lester for same reason.

In reality the Sox championship merely proved a long known fact that the best way to win a ring is homegrown talent that is underpaid supplemented by smart signings. This is what every championship team has done since the nineties except for the 2008 Yankees.

At the same time some players like Jeter, A Rod in his prime, Man Ram, Wainwright, and more are worth the 20 million price to keep around for more playoff drunks.

bobbleheadguru
1 year 4 months ago

I agree with many of your points… but consider that Scherzer himself is NOT a homegrown talent and is underpaid at the moment.

They traded extremely popular and productive player (Granderson) for Scherzer and Jackson, who were unproven, unknowns at the time.

Not much unlike the Fister trade this offseason.

Overbrook
1 year 4 months ago

Schezer and Jackson were much more highly regarded prospects at the time of that trade than were the prospects they got for Fister.

LordOfTheSwings
1 year 4 months ago

Bailey’s extension also sets an absolute floor (although Scherzer will obvious get a lot more)

Jerry Mandering
1 year 4 months ago

Going to blow up in his face. I see a return to his normal stats this season. Still really good, but not $200M good.

LordOfTheSwings
1 year 4 months ago

Even if he puts up a 15-8 record, with a 3.50 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with 220 K’s, he’ll still probably get a $150m contract in free agency. I doubt the Tigers were offering that much more than that; It’s a relatively small risk.

Just look at Bailey’s contract, and he didn’t even have to go to free agency (and I think almost every team would rather have Scherzer)

Better yet, look at the huge contracts Zito and Greinke signed after less-than-stellar years.

UltimateYankeeFan
1 year 4 months ago

You have to think that Scherzer will be able to get a 6 year $120 to $130MM deal when he hits FA. That will make him 35 at the end of July 2020 the final year of that contract. If he can come close to his 2013 performance this year that kind of contract in the context of MLB salaries isn’t out of the question.

Tigers72
1 year 4 months ago

I am guessing that the Tigers announced that he was denying a huge offer so that the fan base would get a little angry at him. Now they will be able to trade him for a good young SP, a SP prospect, a left fielder and maybe a bullpen arm. They might include a couple guys like whoever loses the right handed platoon for SS. I don’t see a team that fits all of those needs so it will probably end up being a three team trade. I could see the Rangers being the one getting Scherzer and either the Blue jays or Pirates helping get the deal done. The dbacks are a possibility to.

erm016
1 year 4 months ago

Step right up, ATL lol.

1 year 4 months ago

Nobody is going to give you enough for one year of Max to make it worth dashing your World Series hopes.
They actually could still sign him after he becomes a free agent the way they did with Sanchez.

0vercast
1 year 4 months ago

Who do you guys think will have the better season in 2014: Scherzer or Verlander?

I’m going with Verlander.

Tigers72
1 year 4 months ago

Yea me to they found out he was bending his leg to much at the end of the season and then he was lights out.

Keith Richards
1 year 4 months ago

It was a mistake if he declined an offer like that. There’s no way he repeats 2012. His stock can go nowhere but down from here. He should be paid as a top 5 pitcher in baseball, but I don’t think he’ll get it next off season.

Mike1L
1 year 4 months ago

You really wonder what the offer is. It’s going to be a test of a core Boras philosophy, which is (almost) never leave a stray nickel in the street, even when you bet big to do it. There’s no question Scherzer took a step forward last year. But unless the contract offer was at a significant discount, I’m not sure there’s that much incremental stretching this out. And there is serious risk of regression or injury. A lot went right last year for him.

Rich
1 year 4 months ago

He wants to become a St. Louis Cardinal as he was a huge fan as a kid. Now he has that chance to play for them. Face the facts Tiger fans Scherzer will be property of the Cardinals next year.

stl_cards16
1 year 4 months ago

I really hope you don’t believe that.

1. He will go to whoever offers the most money.

2. That won’t be the Cardinals.

3. The Cardinals drafted him in 2003. If he cared so much about playing for the Cardinals, he would have signed with them.

0vercast
1 year 4 months ago

Game, set, match.

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 4 months ago

Not surprising that Scherzer would want a deal similar, or a little above, Verlander’s.

He just won the Cy Young and he’s got Boras representing him.

Considering Kershaw’s new contract, I would have offered Scherzer like 7 yrs with an AAV of $26 mill per.

That would seem fair to me. That said, if the Tigers offer really was just under Verlander’s deal, then it seems like the divide shouldn’t be too wide.

My guess is the offer is likely around $24 mill per year.

erm016
1 year 4 months ago

Such an overpay.

Sam Froomkin
1 year 4 months ago

How would 7 years at 26 per be fair? Max has been an ace for one season. One. And he’s about to be 30.

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 4 months ago

I would figure that Scherzer would want a little more than Verlander.

He’s also won a Cy Young and his extension would kick in same time as Verlander. It would basically be the same deal, adjusted for a little inflation.

That’s a bit high, but not ludicrous, IMO.

Sam Froomkin
1 year 4 months ago

Spend a few minutes and look at the seasons of Max and JV prior to their Cy Young breakout season. JV had established himself as an ace even before that. Max, not so much. He’s trying to cash in on a single season. I don’t blame him. But paying him like Felix, JV or Kershaw is a mistake.

edwing
1 year 4 months ago

Too bad they don’t have another arm to provide some quality depth behind verlander and sanchez in case they can’t get a deal done. Someone like fister maybe

Tigers72
1 year 4 months ago

To bad he is probably not ready for the start of the season.

1 year 4 months ago

They have Porcello and Smyly who are at least 5 years younger with brighter futures at less cost. That’s enough since they also now have $175 million to spend.

liberalconservative
1 year 4 months ago

With all the TJS happening lately its not a smart move to turn down a offer over $150 million. One arm injury can cost you your career. Take the money and run.

Mike1L
1 year 4 months ago

If that report is correct, that’s a ton of money to leave on the table. He’s not better than Verlander or Kershaw. Boras is a busy man–he’s apparently floating a (rejected) new offer for Drew at 3/39.