Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why Max Scherzer would be wise to sign long-term with Tigers before this season

Presumably, the Tigers are willing to sign Max Scherzer to a long-term contract for an extraordinary amount of money before the start of this coming season.
Scherzer's is entering the last year of his contract and is coming off, by far, his best season.
Should he bet on himself and seek an even larger gold mine, or sign for the Tigers for a huge amount regardless without rolling the dice.
The rub could come in if Scherzer and his agent Scott Boras view Clayton Kershaw's recently signed seven-year, $215 million contract as the standard for Scherzer. It's apples and oranges. Kershaw is nearly four years younger. The two put together similar seasons in 2013, but Kershaw has been a considerably better pitcher than Scherzer over the course of their careers. His ERA is more than a run less, his WHIP measurably lower.
Max Scherzer: Why roll the dice?
Scherzer  has been a good major league starting pitcher with some inconsistency issues over the course of his career. He definitely put together a No.1 starter type of season in 2013, and he pitched at a similar level during the second half of the 2010 season. However, his WHIP was between 1.2 and 1.3 for every season until last year when it was off-the-charts at 0.970 (Kershaw's was still lower at .0915, but he does see pitchers hitting in the NL). Kershaw's Defense Independent Pitching numbers are considerably better than Scherzer, too, including last season.
There is a lot there to suggest what Kershaw did last season was a trend consistent to his career track, while there is an equal amount to suggest Scherzer's 2013 campaign was an aberration, not a trend.
It's constantly mentioned if Zack Greinke got $147 million for six years from the Dodgers, how much Scherzer is worth. The Dodgers overpaid for Greinke.
By rolling the dice and gambling on himself, Scherzer very well could get more in free agency than the Tigers will pay him before the start of this coming season (he does have a great "stuff.) He could get a lot less if there is an injury involved, or if he goes through a rough patch which drives his numbers back to where they suggested he was more of a No.2 or No.3 starter than a No. 1.
It's seem like he really likes with the Tigers. With Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander in the fold and their prime, the Tigers are going to be contenders the next several years.
The risk doesn't seem to match the immediate reward, does it?


Blogger Fred Brill said...


When the immediate reward is millions of dollars - I can't comprehend the amount of restraint it would take to take less and stay. to the average Joe like me it's inconceivable to imagine how to make such a decision. Greed? Or is it just "pay me what I'm worth".

It's millions of dollars, Pat, in your pocket. What do you do?

5:02 PM 
Anonymous woody said...

i believe the only way Scherzer loses by waiting for free agency is if he gets hurt. the price of top tier talent continues to escalate and open market bidding will drive it higher, sometimes to ridiculous levels. he needs just a solid, unspectacular season to reel in a huge deal.

expect Tigers to extend a qualifying offer to Scherzer next offseason. he'll reject it, opt for free agency, but give the Tigers a final option of meeting or beating the best offer on the table.

if he signs elsewhere, the Tigers get a compensation pick and his new team loses their first round draft choice.

12:59 PM 

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