Scherzer to WDFN: We saw this coming two years ago

At some point two years ago, Max Scherzer said, he and fellow Tigers starter Rick Porcello looked at each other and saw this time coming, when Detroit’s rotation would have to be broken up.

“We sat on the bench and we saw this coming really two years ago,” Scherzer told Matt Shepard on WDFN Friday morning. “We saw where everybody was at in their contracts. We sat there and realized this team is going to get a major facelift in the next two years. There’s just no way you can keep everybody on board.”

That was around the time the Tigers signed Justin Verlander to his contract extension. Until then, Verlander and Scherzer were both on track to become free agents in the same offseason, with Porcello on track a year later.

“We looked at each other,” Scherzer continued, “like, ‘Which one of us is going to go?'”

Turns out, it was both of them — Scherzer as a free agent, Porcello via trade.

Much like Scherzer’s decision to sign his seven-year, $210 million deal with the Nationals last month, he said, it’s part of the business. Scherzer tried to explain his side of it.

“I realize how fortunate I am and how blessed I am to be in this position,” he told Shepard. “This was never about greed or I need more money per se, but it was about a business decision and trying to maximize what you’re worth. And for me, I was in the position to take full advantage of that and the Nationals came through and put a contract offer in front of me that … was jaw-dropping. …

“It’s the business part of the game. The business part of the game is ugly. I mean, look at it from the other side. I’ve seen so many of my friends get cut and released and all taken advantage of because at the end of the day, we say it’s the business part of the game. I just took advantage of the business side of the game to benefit me. For fans and everybody, it’s a hard concept to see. You get emotionally attached to your sports teams, but the players, we live and breathe the business side of the game because it’s right in front of us all the time. For players, it is a part of what goes on.”

Scherzer said the six-year, $144 million offer from the Tigers last spring was the last of their negotiations. He didn’t want to talk during the season, and there wasn’t much contact after the season ended.

“There was a point in time when we reached out to the Tigers to see if they were still interested,” Scherzer said, “and they conveyed to us that they weren’t, that they were fine with where their rotation was at moving forward. And that’s just kind of how we left it.”

When Scherzer had his press conference in D.C., much was made of his comment that the Nationals offered the best chance to win. He tried to clarify that Friday, saying the Nationals had the best chance to win among his choices.

“I never once ever said Detroit couldn’t win,” Scherzer said. “I actually do think Detroit can win. I think Detroit has a very good ballclub and they’re going to be a tough team in the American League. They just weren’t one of the teams in the final [mix]. …

“Of the teams that were really down to the end, the Nationals to me gave me the best opportunity. So because of that, that’s the reason why I told Scott [Boras] at the end, ‘Let’s just negotiate with the Nationals.'”

Bottom line, he said, “I had a great time in Detroit. It’s not like I left Detroit on bad terms. But it’s like that for all sports, every city. All fans get attached to the guys they get to see every single night, and and the talent we bring to the table. It’s just part of the game of how this goes down.”

More from Scherzer:

  • On his full-page ad in Detroit newspapers thanking fans: “You can’t please everybody. I’m over trying to please everybody. It was me personally trying to say, ‘Look, my time here in Detroit was absolutely special. It’s something I’ll never forget.’ I’ve had some of the best moments in my career, in my entire life really, there in Detroit. I just wanted to take a chance and put it out and say I really thank everybody who was a fan of me and appreciated watching me. It was very much appreciated and something I’ll never forget.”
  • On what he’ll miss: “I think it’s just everything — the clubhouse, wearing the olde English D, everything about it, Mr. I, the whole thing. It’s tough, but that’s the way things go sometimes. That chapter in my life here in Detroit was great, and I just look forward to going on to what I’m going to do next.”
  • On Nationals rotation compared to Tigers rotation: “The only thing I can really say is obviously on paper it looks good, but I’ve got to see these guys up close and personal to really see what they can bring to the table. I know what I saw in Detroit. I got to watch every single guy go about their business and try to emulate one thing from everybody. That’s what it looks like I’ll be able to do here in Washington as well. They have an unbelievably talented rotation and you just sit back and watch every single night and watch what they do, pick apart what they do well.”

59 Comments

He’s so full of crap…..just shut it already. He woulda gone to whatever team paid him the most. He’s such a liar. Hope they love him when he pulls himself out of games and I loved those five runs he gave up in the playoffs. That’s my lasting memory of him.

Damn, Gk, you salty.

I, for one, hope he gets a chance to pitch in Detroit sometime in the next few years and gets a standing ovation from the fans. He gave everything he had while he was here. You can’t expect any more than that. Move on.

Hope he can win a world series for them cause, otherwise, it’s just lifestyles of the rich and famous.

After 108 pitches: “He was spent,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said
Verlander vs A´s :122 pitches, SHO to keep Valverde out of the equation.
It was an easy choice

I for one wish Max all the best unless we are fortunate to meet in a WS.
I will never forget how Max and his parents openly handled their family tragedy.
I had no problem with last years negotiations and fully understand the Tiger offer less than JV’s Contract being declined.
I would rather have JV’s contract than Max’s though hate giving any SP more than 3 or 4 year contracts.

Not much of consequence available as a LHB 1st baseman. Closest thing to a stop-gap measure for short term would possibly be Ryan Doumit who suddenly stopped hitting or (major long-shot, literally) Adam Dunn.
My guess is that Miggy will surprise people and be ready quicker than expected and I also expect that we are going to be very disappointed in what happens with Victor.
My hopes centre on Jordan Lennerton taking advantage and deliver a strong spring. If he could just hit around .250 and pop the occasinal long ball he will be worth trying. He would really help defensively.
Was looking at LHB OFers too. My gosh whatever happened to Jason Kubel? Drastic.
The wild card here is Dombrowski. If Victor’s news is not good yhou never know what he might do.
In hindsight, (though I felt this way at the time too) VMart’s contract was a bad one. I always thought they could afford only 2 and and an option. Age and health should really have been considered more IMHO.

You hit the nail on the head GK…Max is full of it … A lot of people don’t remember that the Tigers were the best hitting club in the Majors ..He got a lot of run support …. That were he got is wins ..And he proudly would of got more if he did not take himself out of a game at 108 pitches …

If you believe that, I have beachfront property in Iowa for you. Max only said that to protect his manager. Guaranteed he wanted to stay in that game and just wasn’t going to throw his coach under the bus.

Bull…. Max Scherzer was never about team he’s about protecting his stats for his contract.

Some day grandfathers will be telling their grandchildren about the most intense pitcher they ever saw throw at Comerica Park. Some of them will say it was Justin Verlander others will say it was a guy with funny eyes named Max.
Time t o let Max rest in peace. He gave us his all and was guilty of nothing more than any other mercenary who plays the game of baseball in the 21st century.

In fairness to Max, I think a lot of what he is saying is true. He’s not BSing. Seems to me he’s pretty straight forward in describing his decisions and feelings. I think players are compelled to take everything they can get because that is the way the business works. It doesn’t necessarily help the marginal ml players though. Top players will continue to get the lions’ share of the payroll and the rest will share what’s left over. Course even the leftovers are still much more money than most of us will ever see. Free enterprise is a good thing, not perfect, but better than any alternatives. But Max was right when he said so many of the players get bounced around and never make much beyond the league base salary. That’s the reality. This was a good business move both by Max and by Mike Illich and DD. I figured all along that Max would sign elsewhere. I’ll miss him but I’m glad the Tigers did not pay him that kind of money. Time to move on.

Hear–Here!

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fans giving an emotional response to an unemotional decision by a player. just the nature of the fan-player relationship.

The Phillies are motivated to deal Howard. DH certainly looks to be in his future. Speculation is they would not want much in return and/or would pick up salary. 23 HRs and 95 RBIs in 2014.

Well said, Marty. For my own reasons, I have turned down headhunters offering more money, so everybody is different. We are who we are.
At any rate, Max is pitching for my NL team so I’ll be seeing plenty of him. Not going to waste energy hating on him for the next few years.

One interview that didn’t need to happen. Boras probably set it up. I hope Max throws more complete games, throws and no-hitter/perfect game, wins a world series, because that’s what he being paid to do. Strictly a business decision by the Washington Nationals.

Usually if Boras’ people set up an interview, it’s with a national guy. Locally, I think Boras has done more interviews with 105.1 the last couple years than with the other stations.

He just sounds like Boras. I still don’t know why he thinks he still has to explain himself when we all know why he went to Washington.

max is no mr. baseball that’s for sure

One of my favorite things about reading this blog is the honesty regarding how some feel about players. Makes for some interesting reading. Not quite as good as when the Inge haters were having a field day. Ah, the good old days.

I wish he’d just be honest about his decision. Max Scherzer made a habit in the last 1 1/2 years to protect his stats…(pulling himself out of games) giving congratulations and self promoting to let everyone know how wonderful he is. When in reality there were 25 starters with better era…28 with a better whip … 24 with a better BAA….. To name a few. I just don’t think he’s proven he’s worth the second richest contract, he had one great year …and last year was ok but the rest were not great. It’s all about his self promotion. The Tigers already have 3 pretty significant contracts and I’m glad there won’t be a 4th especially for someone who’s over 30 with a so so track record especially in the playoffs. I’m guessing he’ll do much better in th NL because he won’t face and American League lineup and he’ll be happy because he’ll be taken out of games even earlier because of double switches. His stats will look great I’m sure and that is his main concern.

I think you hit the nail on the head GK. Infact the radio station here in Detroit would make fun of him and how he used to self congratulate himself.

Let’s indulge in a little honesty here. The real reason is that the haters don’t like the idea he is NOT here anymore. They can criticize his numbers and his efforts et al, but the facts are the guy was 18-5 last year and 21-3 the year before. In a Tiger uni he was 82 -35.
Spin all the other feces you want but the guy was excellent in Detroit. He is hated because he was good (and now gone), not because he was deficient in any capacity.
That’s the last I will say on Max Scherzer. I hope we can all let it go and move on.

That was succint and well put.

Spelling…succinct.

Dan I Have the right to my opinion. And my opinion while its not completely unimportant win totals are not telling the whole story. I never said he was horrible i said he isn’t even close to one of the top pitchers…not worth 144 and certainly not worth 215. I guess i just dont think as much of him as you do Dan. And by the way I’m not sorry he’s gone not for that kinda dough and most definitely the length. A reasonable contract sure but not that. I learned my lesson with Verlander and Sabbathia’s long contrats. .
.
Honestly in my opinion he’s good not great whether you believe me or not. But whatever you don’t know me.

Also: The Tigers dug themselves out from 119 losses years ago on free agents who took the money. There’s no way Pudge would’ve ended up here if Detroit didn’t offer far and away the most money. It works both ways.

Wasn’t personal gk.
BTW, I agree about the contract. it was unsustainable.

Also my last post about Max. He said it was a business decision and I respect that. He is jaded by the money and he is worth it because that is what he sold for. I have also been offered a lot of money but I do not want to move. Just like my classic cars, they are worth what the buyer will pay me, like Barrett-Jackson. Loyalty is gone and we have to accept it, right Mr. Kaline? I am excited about my team, our team, and who ever wears the olde english D, that is who I am rooting for! Go Tigers!

( GK ) . I agree with all your comments .. Kathy ,,, and Rich .. were do you come off by saying he going to win a World Series for the Washington …you are insane .He is going to pitch 5or 6 innings because the game is a one run game … so don’t get your hopes up .

I never said Scherzer was going to win a WS for Washington. I never said Washington would win a WS. I don’t predict such things. It is possible that I”m insane, however.

“Serenity now, insanity later.”

Jason brings up a good point. We are no longer the 2003 tigers and no longer have to overpay for good players to play here.

The property-owner MLB was leveled by Curt Flood in 1970. Max is taking advantage of the result…equality in bargaining.

Talking about a small world, a young lady came into my store and her last name was Iillitch. I said that is not a common name. She told me that Mike is her uncle. She transferred to Grand Valley and is into to hockey more than baseball. I have a nice picture of Pudge jumping in the air when the Tigers won the league in 2006. And then there is the Maggilo home run………..Go Tigers 2015!

Tigers now with 22nd and 34th draft picks

They overpaid for IRod and Fielder for sure.

Tigers need to hit a home run on these draft picks .. That draft pick from last year I believe he will be in the majors by 2017 .. the same year that Cuban kid .will do the same .

Derek Hill 98. Sole Tigers organization player to make the top 101 for baseball prospectus

I just read a tweet on twitter listing pitchers who had thrown the most pitches since 2007. Guess who’s #1?

Justin Verlander followed by Shields and Felix. IP: JV, FH, JS

Even worse if you go back to 2006

Navarro?

Still beating the dead horse, the only comment on the whole Sherzer deal is that I’m going to miss Porcello more. Can’t help the loyalty factor; he was one of ours, and it’s hard to believe that he just turned 26; maybe not as gifted as Max, he’ll still win 200 games in the majors.

” the Detroit Tigers have had discussions about acquiring switch-hitting Dioner Navarro from the Toronto Blue Jays, according to major league sources. ”
Blair
Never talked with Jays according to Jason retweet

The media was going nuts with that rumor. I guess we’ll know more about Victor after tomorrow’s surgery. Hope it’s a simple procedure and he can come back in a few weeks.

Anything like that would probably be after the outcome of Victor’s surgery tomorrow.

I was typing as you commented.

All Beck did in his article was point out options…Navarro. Ethier, Nava and Howard. Nothing will be done until Miggy and/or V-Mart’s situation is in HD. Meanwhile, I favor Howard. As I posted on2/7, if push comes to shove, the Phillies are motivated to move him, wouldn’t ask much in return and would likely pick up salary in Kemp-Dodger fashion. There’s an obvious downside, but 23 HRs and 95 RBIs in 2014.

Iott and MLB TR posted this:
“Jeff Blair of sportsnet.ca reported late Monday morning that the Tigers have spoken with the Toronto Blue Jays regarding catcher Dioner Navarro.”
Then:RT @Wilnerness590: Cold water alert (apologies): Source tells me that #Bluejays and #Tigers have never discussed Dioner Navarro. #Jays

Howard:
223 /.310 /.380 /.690. Half of the game at the sandlot
Avila:
.218 /.327 /.359 /.686
Howard´s contract is one of the worst in MLB;just ahead of Fielder . They have a similar aging curve with the advantage for Howard for being taller

Howard’s power numbers and run- production trump his average. Besides, when he makes an out it is a clean K and not a doubleplay. And yes, Howard has a bad contract, which is a reason the Phillies are looking to unload him and probably pick up money. Vernon Wells was in a similar spot a few years ago when the Angels moved him.

686 OPS:.22 nd among qualifying 1B( There were 23) ISO 156 18th. wRC plus 22nd. He was the second worst 1B in MLB last season .
WAR: minus 0.3

If push comes to shove…Of the 4 options listed by Beck, Howard remains my favorite. He is the only true 1B/DH-type. Navarro is being shopped because he is a $5M backup catcher without much pop or speed. Nava is a 4th outfielder who has shown little power.Ethier has aged into a 4th or 5th outfielderwih a huge salary. I can’t see how out of this lot Howard doesn’t best fit. Besides, he finished 2014 as 4th in the NL in RBIs, 14th in HRs and 13th in walks.

my 2 cents…best case scenario for Martinez is that he has small meniscal tear/fraying that needs cleaned up. worst case is that he’s got more joint cartilage damage that needs microfracture treatment again.
.
cumulative knee problems are career enders. Tigers have seen it before with Guillen and Vina.

I think you nailed it, Woody. Fingers crossed.

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