Hey, Detroit Tigers, Max Scherzer is Worth It

Max Scherzer Alex Avila Detroit Tigers

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Whether you’re springing for the brand-name pizza rolls, splurging on the latest hot-dog toaster for your bedside table, or just simply enjoying the seasonal tasty delight that is McDonald’s McRib, you’ll have to admit that sometimes it just feels right to pay a bit more for goods of superior quality.

Detroit Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski can take hold of that feeling if he just stops being a Scrooge McDuck about the situation at hand and simply pays up for Max Scherzer: a starting pitcher of superior quality.

Last week, amidst an arbitration-avoiding frenzy in Motown, the Tigers were able to sign six players to contacts for the 2013 season.  Unfortunately, Scherzer was not among them.

Scherzer and his agent, Scott Boras, did exchange figures with the Tigers last week, yet, they found there to be about a $1.35 million-dollar gap between each party’s expected amounts, with the Tigers offering $6.05 million and Boras and Scherzer asking for $7.4 million in 2013.

Since arriving in Detroit as part of the Curtis Granderson deal in late 2009, Mad Max Scherzer has been “beyond thunderdome” for the Tigers. Frankly, Mad Max been crazy good while his silver screen counterpart, Mel Gibson, has just been, well, actually crazy.

Dombrowski, take a real look at Scherzer—he finished second, only behind Justin Verlander, last year in strikeouts in the American League. Had he pitched more he would have finished first, as his rate of 11.08 strikeouts per nine innings pitched was tops in the AL.

Scherzer’s built a reputation as being able to consistently overpower and fool batters for five-and-a-half to six innings a start, plus, he’s won 31 games for the Tigers over the last two seasons while maintaining a WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched) between 1.35 and 1.27.  His numbers speak for themselves, but he’s been flying under the radar since he plays on the same team as Verlander.

I’m no arbitrator.  In fact, my knowledge of the law is rooted primarily in re-runs of Night Court, Judge Mathis, and Mock Trial with J. Reinhold.  However, if it were up to my clearly-biased self, I’d offer Scherzer at least a deal in the $6.8-$7 million neighborhood before going to arbitration.  Personally, I think the arbitrator is going to see the going-rate for a pitcher of Scherzer’s caliber to be closer to $7.4 million Scherzer asked for than the $6.05 million the Tigers offered.

Dombrowski, save yourself some stress and the team some money, offer Scherzer what he’s worth, and leave playing hardball to the actual players.

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