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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