Max Scherzer open to extension
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer, who was named the 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner Wednesday night, is eligible for free agency at the end of next season. But his options aren't necessarily limited to getting traded or leaving town.
Agent Scott Boras, typically not known for negotiating contract extensions for high-profile players on the cusp of free agency, said Wednesday that Scherzer will keep an open mind if the Tigers approach him with a multiyear offer in the coming months.
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"They know Max likes it there," Boras told ESPN.com. "We would have to sit down and talk about their plans for the future. But when you have a player who likes playing where he's playing and an ownership that has been what Mike Ilitch has been in Detroit, it's certainly something we would listen to."
Scherzer, 29, went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA this season to make his first All-Star team and join Justin Verlander as the second Cy Young Award winner on the Detroit staff. As an arbitration-eligible player, Scherzer is in line for a substantial increase from the $6.725 million he earned last season.
Although Boras is better known for negotiating nine-figure free-agent deals than extensions for players who have yet to reach free agency, there have been some noteworthy exceptions to the rule. Outfielder Carlos Gonzalez signed an $80 million extension with the Colorado Rockies in January 2011, and pitcher Jered Weaver agreed to an $85 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels later that year. In April, the Texas Rangers signed shortstop Elvis Andrus to a $120 million extension.
Boras also has had a productive history of negotiations with Ilitch, the Tigers' owner since 1992. Boras clients Ivan Rodriguez, Magglio Ordonez and Kenny Rogers all played in Detroit, and the Tigers signed Prince Fielder to a nine-year, $214 million contract in January 2012.
Scherzer has been mentioned as a potential trade candidate this offseason by several media outlets that have speculated the Tigers would rather get a haul of young talent in return for him now rather than allow him to walk next winter. Fielder, Verlander ($180 million), Miguel Cabrera ($152.3 million) and Anibal Sanchez ($80 million) are all signed to lucrative multiyear deals with Detroit, and a long-term investment in Scherzer would add even more heft to a Detroit payroll that was fifth-highest among the 30 MLB teams at $149 million last season.
During an interview Tuesday at the general managers meetings, Detroit GM David Dombrowski declined to address the recent trade rumors surrounding Scherzer or any other speculation over the pitcher's future with the team.
"We like Max, and he likes Detroit," Dombrowski said. "We'll see what happens."
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