If you see a man with dollar signs in his eyes you are probably looking at Max Scherzer. I mean if an unproven pitcher can land $150 million in this market then what is a Cy Young award winning, power arm like Scherzer going to command in the open market? There is no question that Scherzer is one of the biggest beneficiaries of the new contract between Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees, which in turn makes the Detroit Tigers slight losers since they have every intention of trying to re-sign Scherzer. Let’s just put it this way; it is certainly a contract that is going to come up when agent Scott Boras deliberates with his client sometime in the coming months.
That is not to say that it was going to be cheap in re-signing Scherzer anyway, but this just confirms that the market for pitching right now is as hot as it can be. And with a pitcher posting the type of numbers Scherzer is, you could be seeing some numbers that only lottery winners are supposed to win. Are the Tigers comfortable enough to follow through and win a bidding war? Could they maybe avoid the market by getting a deal done in season? Tigers fans are patiently hoping that the answer is yes to both questions, and I would still suggest that the likely answer is yes to both of those questions. But today certainly put a much bigger obstacle in front of the negotiation table.
One thing I think you can almost bank on is that Scherzer will be paid more than Tanaka either by the Tigers or another team. It may be a number that Tigers and their fans are uncomfortable with, but in today’s market there is really nothing you can do. To sit at the big kids table today you have to drop $200 million like it is a tip after a meal. The Tigers see themselves as a big boy, but it is days like today that remind them they are still a little ways off.