Feb 28, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcherMax Scherzer
(37) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Detroit Tigers have experienced a tough week with injury news that likely ended the season for shortstop Jose Iglesias and definitely ended the season for supposed set-up man Bruce Rondon. If you had any glimmer of hope that this tough week would be somewhat offset by the Tigers announcing a contract extension with Max Scherzer, think again.
The Tigers released a statement this morning that pulls no punches about their negotiations with Scherzer, which until now had not been discussed publicly.
I think as Spring Training went along and no deal had been put in place, many Tigers fans assumed that no extension would happen and Max would go to free agency after the 2014 season. Though many of us remember Justin Verlander‘s contract extension came right around this time last year–when no one was expecting it.
From their statement, it appears the Tigers were hoping to go down a similar road with Scherzer and his notoriously ruthless agent, Scott Boras. I am not sure if we’ll ever know the exact specifics of the “substantial, long-term contract” offered to Max or if the pitcher or his agent will have a response to the team’s statement.
The statement also makes it clear that the franchise would not negotiate during the season, a point that Max had agreed with before Spring Training began.
It also appears that the Tigers brass, led by GM Dave Dombrowski, might not be happy by how negotiations turned out.
While this might be another blow to Tigers fans hoping to keep Scherzer for many more years, remember we all figured Anibal Sanchez was all but gone after 2012 and he surprised many by re-signing with the club.
Personally though, I think Max will be playing his final season in Detroit in 2014.
TIGERS CUT EIGHT
In the third round of cuts for Spring Training, Detroit has sent eight players to minor league camps. Jose Ortega, Kyle Lobstein, and Eugenio Suarez were assigned to Toledo’s roster while Ezequiel Carrera , Trevor Crowe, Craig Albernaz, Luis Expositio, and John Murrian have been designated to minor league camp with no team designation yet.
Carrera was the early leading candidate to replace Andy Dirks on the roster while the left fielder works to return from back surgery around June, but the emergence of Tyler Collins as a factor in the outfield rotation dampered his chances at making the team. Suarez received a lot of time at shortstop this spring, but the move that brought Andrew Romine to Detroit all but sealed his fate.
Lobstein started the exhibition season well, but was rocked in Saturday’s game against Toronto, which may have sealed his fate. The Tigers see Lobstein more as a starter, though. While they still are working out the makeup of the bullpen, with the departure of Jose Alverez, Lobstein stands to be the first guy called up when Detroit needs a spot or sixth starter.