News broke this week that Max Scherzer will not negotiate with the Detroit Tigers if a deal is not done before Opening Day. Reading that causes panic within the Tigers fanbase because a lot of fans are very concerned with locking up Scherzer like the team did with Justin Verlander a year earlier.
It shouldn’t cause panic in the Tigers’ front office however, because the Tigers hold the cards right now and they absolutely cannot let a player force them into rushing such a vital decision to the future of the organization.
The Tigers have made impulse buys before that have caused huge problems, including Prince Fielder who the team finally was able to get rid of this offseason. They can not make that same mistake here with a pitcher who has only had one elite-level season year and still has more to prove.
Remember, Verlander had several dominant years before he earned his big-money deal, and while Scherzer is going to land the big bucks whether it is this year or next from someone, that doesn’t mean that it absolutely has to be the Tigers.
The worst thing the Tigers can do right now is rush another gigantic contract. No one blames Scherzer for saying he doesn’t want to negotiate during the season, and I’m sure it is not something the Tigers want to do. That said, one only needs to look at how the St. Louis Cardinals handled the Albert Pujols situation as an example of a great organization not allowing a player to run negotiations.
The Tigers can sign Scherzer, but it needs to be under their terms.