Still no deal between Tigers, Scherzer

The Tigers’ perfect record of avoiding arbitration hearings under Dave Dombrowski’s watch is in serious jeopardy, more than at any other time since he took over GM duties in 2002. With no signs of a deal between the Tigers and Max Scherzer, the two sides are heading closer towards an arbitration panel to hear the matter.

The Tigers and Scherzer stood $1.35 million apart when they filed numbers two weeks ago. They continue to talk, but they still have a distance to gap, and they’re running out of time.

Three-person arbitration panels are scheduled to begin hearings next week in Arizona. A hearing date for Scherzer’s case has been set, but so far, the date has been kept private out of mutual interest. Arbitrators aren’t told ahead of time whose case they’ll be hearing on a given day, and giving a date for players would allow them to put the pieces together and start doing advance research if they so choose.

No Tiger has gone to an arbitration hearing since Dave Dombrowski replaced Randy Smith as general manager in 2002. They’ve come close a couple of times, notably when Justin Verlander became eligible for arbitration in 2009.The Tigers’ goal with arbitration cases under Dombrowski and baseball legal counsel John Westhoff has been to reach a deal with players before exchanging numbers, but that happened a couple weeks ago. They’ve exchanged numbers more often in recent years as their young players have gotten better, but they’ve usually settled those soon after the exchange once a middle ground was clearly established. Given that history, it would be a stretch to suggest the gap between Scherzer and the Tigers is small, though their gap in salaries submitted isn’t as big as what the Tigers faced with Verlander.

Part of the appeal in those cases is the knowledge that arbitration panels have to accept one of the two offers submitted. Unlike in hockey, a ruling can’t give a player a salary in the middle.

Thus, if the case goes to a hearing, Scherzer would either get $7.4 million or $6.05 million.

Scherzer made $3.75 million last year as a first-time arbitration eligible. A victory for him would just about double his salary. Unlike last offseason, his arbitration case will be judged on last season’s numbers alone.

Scherzer set career highs with 16 wins and 231 strikeouts last year, and was in a tight race with teammate Justin Verlander for the Major League lead in the latter category before shoulder soreness knocked Scherzer out of one start and scratched him from another. It also left him with 187 2/3 innings after back-to-back seasons with at least 195 innings.

Despite the shoulder questions, Scherzer made three starts in the postseason, striking out 26 batters over 18 1/3 innings on 12 hits and four walks.

Super-agent Scott Boras represents Scherzer, but Boras and the Tigers have a history of settling gaps with arbitration-eligible players; Boras’ tough negotiations are usually reserved for free agents. He usually encourages players against signing long-term deals avoiding arbitration, not short-term ones, so that they can still test the open market when they become eligible.

That said, Boras is known for keeping a binder’s worth of statistics on his clients, normally for free agents but also for arbitration’s sake.

Technically, the Tigers’ negotiation with Scherzer could actually stretch past a hearing. The two sides are allowed to seek a settlement all the way until an arbitration panel makes its decision. Once a team has to go to a hearing, though, the chances of compromise on a middle ground drop dramatically.


and by “super-agent” he means snakeoil salesmen


are people seriously not disgusted by the Scott-boras’s of the world? Are the same people also OK with extremely successful politicians and personal injury lawyers? This guys job is to what: get THE MOST money for his clients – THAT IS ALL. And of course this is ruining the game – literally the game is WAY different due to financial limitations (minn, miami, san diego, kansas city can’t hardly compete) and obligations (A rods contract handcuffing the yankees).
So it just disgusts me when a) a player chooses Scot Boras as an agent, and b) when Mr. Illitch signs a Scot Boras player.

Scherzer was projected at 7.5 by MLBTR but 6.85 was also mentioned in some sources. Still,here and there have been complains about the Tigers disrespecting him and comparing him with Sanchez.
Sanchez was a free agent and his price was set by the markets. While Scherzer is under control of the team.
Max was inconsistent for his whole career until this year..He works to much and had some outings shortened by his dependency on SO. And ended with shoulder issues. The offer was fair

honestly comparing them is not so bad statistically. for example ERA+ is the same for the 2012 season

The CBA does not allow comparisons with FA ,only with players with the same experience.

Excerpted From the CBA:

The criteria will be the quality of the Player’s contribution
to his Club during the past season (including but not limited to his
overall performance, …, the length and consistency of his career contribution, the
record of the Player’s past compensation, comparative baseball
salaries …the existence of any physical or mental defects on the part of the
Player, and the recent performance record of the Club including
The arbitration panel shall, except for a Player with five or more years of Major League service, give particular attention, for comparative salary purposes, to the
contracts of Players with Major League service not exceeding
one annual service group above the Player’s annual service

Interesting, and pretty positive sabermetrics numbers about JP’s defense particularly given all the negative posting about him.

About the weight. Players who had less stolen bases than alex avila in 2012: Feilder, Peralta, Dirks, Young.
I think losing weight might help him steal 1-2 more bases… which would help him get more than the 1 he got in 2012

btw alex stole 2 bases

Laird is in that group too…but didn’t include him due to lack of playing time

So a skinnier Peralta, a less hurt Dirks, and no DY or G$…not to mention new baserunning coach. Somebody besides Berry could steal more than 12 this year, maybe!

well at least getting faster by subtraction

Bill James projects 1 SB for Fielder. He has 17 in his career.

cabby does it from time to time…..and i feel prince is “quicker”

El Tigre, again, your comments backed by solid documentation are appreciated.
In today’s economy, $1.35 million doesn’t sound like much, but it is. I thought both numbers were fair and on the money, so to speak. I still expect a compromise. Max has an upside and a downside, as we all know. It would help to know that his success stems from solidifying his mechanics and not from overthrowing, ala Zumaya.
Re Boras, I can’t complain about a person doing his job well and honestly.


I have a huge problem with the money that is thrown around in sport, especially baseball. But I really could live with the higher amount, Max has a least shown something. But Porcello….got a giant raise for being below mediocre. I really wish contracts were more incentive based goals in their contracts.

When Max came in under the $7.5m being talked as his market value and DD has always paid slightly over the market, this just seems strange not to have come to an agreement over a few 100K or so.
I doubted they were talking a new contract – Boras would not have been able to keep his mouth shut during the negotiations and with Justin on the same FA timeline as Max, they were not even dipping their toes in the water on that front which should be your first priority.

I think something not mentioned here is the Tigers concern of escalating contracts. It’s not only about this contract, it’s about the next (Fister) and the next (Verlander).

Fister will be a FA in 2016( after 2015 season). He will be arbitration eligible twice. Verlander is a FA in two years. And Miguel in 2016


Bingo. It’s a young team, yes, but contractually, it’s a team with about a two- or three-year window unless something crazy happens.

yea to be blunt it’s JV or cabrera in a few years….
but hey at least we got rid of delmon, valverde and raburn….who were taking good money for terrible WAR (-1.2@6.7M, 0.5@9M, -2@2.1M respectively), right?

and had some guys with good rookie seasons this year: Smyly, Villarreal, Downs, Putkonen, Berry….

I’m sure Illitch will give Max his money. With his health, he needs this team winning right now. They opened a can of worms with the signing of Sanchez for some much. We’ll see how this works out, though.

Mr I remaining in charge is the key to all this.His loyalty to the players means he wont expense his two stars because of his Prince contract.
That and the bottomless pit.

Suprised to have not seen much chatter about potentially trading Scherzer. For some reason people forget the buy low/sell high philosophy when it comes to their favorite team. This is the worst time to trade Porcello. It may be the best time to trade Scherzer. Especially if we can get some major league ready prospects. I like Max, want to keep him but this story could be indicative of something else happening behind the scenes.

it’s an interesting question…seems unlikely that they’ll be able to keep all their top 4 starters as they enter the most lucrative seasons of their careers. I don’t see them letting Verlander go, regardless of cost. so it comes down to Scherzer and Fister. with what’s going on this offseason with Scherzer’s contract, more likely that he eventually goes by free agency or trade.

I hope not. Max can be as dominating as JV when he’s on.
Understand what you mean by getting top value though. Actually the guy I would trade, ironically, would be Sanchez.

The Tigers are in “Win Now” mode and have an exceptional rotation. Changing philosophy midstream and trading a top starter for prospects would be counterproductive to success this season, particularly given the lack of MLB-ready starters on the farm.

I agree, don’t see Scherzer getting traded this season. the process of ‘selling high’ makes sense for teams with significant budget constraints or in rebuilding mode. less so, for championship contenders who want players at the peak of their careers.

Agreed. Besides, the Tigers just traded prospects Turner and Brantly for Sanchez and Infante to “Win Now.” A reverse transaction at this juncture sounds like the way my wife approches shopping.

OK—I am not saying we SHOULD trade Sanchez. I am saying that if you want to trade a starter for a whack of prospects I would trade Sanchez over Scherzer. I WANT to keep bot of them–maybe ALL of them (Porcello too).
We have position players that can be traded if an area of concern is to be addressed.
It is good news to hear that JP has decided to slim down. It could even improve his batting average as perhaps a leaner Jhonny won’t be going for the downs as much.

Strange thought out of nowhere: Wouldn’t Dustin Pedroia look good in Olde English D?
BoSox are lucky to have such a well rounded ball player like that.

On november 9 20012,Beck wondered if “.. .it’s Scherer, whose value might never be higher (even with the shoulder issue) if the Tigers determine they have no chance of re-signing him in two years”, who will be left out of the rotations once Sanchez is added.
So before his arm fall apart trading him would be wise.He is someone you, realistically, can offer for Andrus

Lets rephrase this: before losing him to FA as Beck speculated or I may add before his violent delivery takes a toll on him .

So, do the Tigers have no chance of re-signing Max? And, how does Andrus fit as a top of the rotation starter?

I very much agree with slowbyrne. Max can be every bit as dominant as JV. I like him with the Tigers.

Virtually all pitchers will inevitably face injury problems, guys with both smooth as well as violent deliveries. The issues are how they rehab and how they eventually recover. As far as violent deliveries and smaller framed guys, I remember when the Dodgers unloaded Pedro Marinez early in his career because of fear of potential catastrophic medical issues. How did that work out? On the Tigers staff, Sanchez has rebounded nicely from his former arm problems.

Max is going nowhere. He could could 20 for us THIS year.

he could win you 20 or his arm could fall off. …. i’d like to keep him but you could get goods in return for him if you sell him before that arm falls off

How old is Max? How long has he been throwing this way? How tough is he? How conditioned?
I think he’ll be just fine. I don’t see him racing motorcycles and quads in the desert (or removing boxes from shelves during wildfires. (tsk,tsk)
He has a fine brain and knows his body. No way I would trade him right now. This coming year is too important.

well that’s why it’s a mute point (since we’re in win-now mode), albeit a good one.

Obscure thought #2: Nice career for Arthur Rhodes eh? Talk about playing a role to its hilt. Guys like this get overlooked by many yet fashion themselves very successful careers.

Kudos to Mark Texeira: “Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira knows that fans see his eight-year, $180MM contract as an overpay, and he doesn’t disagree, writes Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal. “Agents are probably going to hate me for saying it,” the 33-year-old said. “You’re not very valuable when you’re making $20MM. When you’re Mike Trout, making the minimum, you are crazy valuable. My first six years, before I was a free agent, I was very valuable. But there’s nothing you can do that can justify a $20MM contract.”

You consider that Mickey Mantle, at the end of his career, was paid the equivalent of about $700,000 per year in today’s dollars.

I don’t get that remark from Tex. Sure, a good young player is very valuable. He sounds like he’s saying he’s not worth 20 million. Well, give it back then.

“actual worth” —–> an opinion. Mr I has one, as do each of us.
so of course he is right.

From Pitchin´ Man: Satchell Paige´s Own Story:
“Y´understand ( sic) when I go night or more innin´s ( sic) I don´t try to strike out nobody. Just give ´em all a piece of the ball so they pop up on the first or second pitch. No walks. No use wastin´( sic) time”

that’s part of the art of pitching, getting the hitter to mis-hit the ball. Fister seems to have figured out that aspect of pitching better than the other 5 at this point in their careers.

For those who may be interested, DiGiovanna wrote an article featuring Torii and the Tigers which appeared this morning in the LA Times. It was a pretty positive take.

Torii Hunter, to a group of miked up teamates whose shenanigans were obviously going too far: “Hey, you crazy? Don’t do that.” He’ll be a welcome addition. Dude’s a pro.

Thanks Richard and Eltigre.. I always liked Torii. So much to say but I still am dazed from the lack of hitting in the WS. The salaries are crazier than ever but I get to watch every Tiger game, not like in the old days when you saw 1 game a week. But listened to Ernie every night and you felt you were there. I am a Peralta fan and if he hits like he can, the flash of leather is not so important. What is the best WAR for a short stop? Well, Winter has really set in, Grand Rapids is a cold and snowy place. How many days till Spring Groundhog? Go Tigers, 2013!

I hope DD can reach an agreement with Max. I don’t think it would be the greatest thing if they go to arbitration. Especially if Max loses. I don’t think he would be the type to let it grate on him enough to affect his performance but it could.
The club has a long history of making its players happy. Even when they were not star players. Nate, Inge, Bondo, etc.

Jared Weaver, a Boras client, signed an extension with home discount after losing his case.
His rises losing is Max ceiling. He got 3.105MM. Verlander signed for 6.850 before his extension. And both had better numbers than Scherzer, So the Tigers offer is closer to his value.

9-11, 12-11, 15-9, 16-7. Yes, this Scherzer guy is headed in the right direction. On the other hand, we have two other pitchers almost the same age that have great potential, too. Then for the fifth spot in the rotation we have two guys under twenty-five who may have even more potential. What a great problem to have!!! After 2013, we will have another season of data on these five guys and we will need to decide which one will get us what we need to compete in 2014. At the end of the season, if our top four pitchers win 18,16, 15 and 13, we do not know right now which will be the guy we trade to plug that problem position that may develop this season.

Peralta and infante could be gone at the end of the season . And Suarez is expected by 2015. Would they extend Infante? or Jhonny?

An arbitration case will always leave a bitter taste in a player’s mouth. Even an affable guy like Sean Casey has said that. It puts the club in the unenviable position of having to stress a player’s weaknesses in order to win the case. I hope DD can keep his record intact. Just split the difference, guys.

Won’t it depend on their season and how the team does?? One of them could be back for sure if it’s a one or two year deal.

Read an interesting article about Porcello by Baer of USA Today. He made some interesting remarks, but noted Porcello should probably quit throwing his slider. Hitters had over a 1.100 OPS against him last season.

Against the slider.

Yes, but Jon Garland with power thinks otherwise: “Right now, I’ve been focusing on my slider, because that’s the pitch that I’m going to throw more than my curveball generally,” Porcello said. ”

Yeah. I thought Baer’s comparison of Porcello to Garland, as you noted, was a favorable one.

He should just choose one or the other.

Porcello definitely needs to do something to get the most out of his considerable talent. For a guy who throws grounders with his sinker, the stunning stat is that Porcello led MLB in doubles given up, which means a lot of gappers.

By the way, that doubles against stat was courtesy of Mr. Beck.

Would you trade Prince Fielder for Troy Tulowitzki?

I like Tulo, much. Interesting options with that deal. Fielder could hit 60 with the Rockies.

And Miggy could play 1st with JP moving to 3rd

Huston Street 23 saves in his rookie year. Previous MLB experience: 0 Innings. He became closer when Octavio Dotel had Tommy John surgery.
Mike MacDougal 27 SV. Previous experience: 24 innings
Scott Williamson 19 SV. PE: 0
Blilly Koch 31 SV. PE:0
Kerry Dale Ligtenberg 30 SV. PE:15 inn
Greg Olson 27 SV. PE: 11 innings
Dan Plesac 14 SV. PE: 0
Craig Kimbrel 40 SV. PE: 20 inn
Neftali Feliz 59. PE: 31 inn 2 SV

not that I’m asking you to do it, but i wonder how those players minor league stats compared to Rondons

Huston Street probably the best match:39 innings WHIP:1.195 8.0 H/9 0.5 HR/9 2.7 BB /9 10.5K /9 3.83 K/BB
Rondon:196 IP: WHIP: 1.240 6.1 H/9 0.2 HR/9 5.1BB/9 9.8K/9 1.92 K/BB. The main caveat the BB. Less hits, less HR, more innings ,just less K.

Agreement reached with Max.

Pingback: Tigers, Max Scherzer Agree To Not Sign Multi Year Contract

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