The Detroit Tigers are on the brink of elimination as they fight for their playoff lives on Thursday night against the Oakland Athletics in Game 5 of the ALDS. This is the second straight time the Tigers have played the A’s in a Game 5 in the ALDS. Detroit is hoping for the same result as Justin Verlander takes the hill for the team.
If the Tigers lose, the team’s offseason is going to start earlier than expected. One name to watch out for this offseason is Max Scherzer. The potential American League Cy Young award winner’s chance of being traded this offseason is very real due to the budget restraints the Tigers have. Detroit is only paying him $6.725 million, avoiding arbitration with him last year — and that number is likely to increase.
With so much money dedicated to Verlander, Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Prince Fielder and Anibal Sanchez, Scherzer is not going to get a favorable deal, especially being a Scott Boras client. Detroit is inclined to trade him before the start of the 2014 season to a team that can sign him to a long-term deal.
Scherzer is going to turn 30 next July, and signing him to a contract for longer than five years is going to put any team in a murky situation. This season was his best overall as he was 21-3 with a league-leading .970 WHIP. His ERA was 2.90, and he had a 4.29 K/BB ratio this season as well. He’s pitched in two games in the playoffs against Oakland already, getting the win as a starter and a reliever.
Detroit is obviously not going to deal him without getting something overwhelming in return. If the Tigers do not trade him, the team will most likely wait and see where they are in the middle of 2014.