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When $144 Million Is Not Enough To Sign A Contract

Max Scherzer is the reigning American League Cy Young award winner, he won two games in last year’s playoffs, and started the All-Star Game. He also is in the last year of his contract.

Baseball clubs do not generally like to negotiate contracts with players during the season for fear of it becoming a distraction. Late in spring training the Detroit Tigers offered Scherzer a 6 year deal worth $144 million. He turned it down. He was reportedly seeking an 8 year deal.

Scherzer is represented by super agent Scott Boras, who represents about 175 big league players, many of the game’s superstars. Boras is known to fight for the highest possible dollar in negotiations.

The Tigers were not happy with Sccherzer turning down the offer and took the rare step of saying so publicly. ESPN reported the Tigers statement. “The Detroit Tigers have made a substantial, long-term contract extension offer to Max Scherzer that would have placed him among the highest-paid pitchers in baseball, and the contract was rejected. As we have reiterated, it has been the organization’s intent to extend Max’s contract and keep him in a Tigers uniform well beyond the 2014 season. While this offer would have accomplished that, the ballclub’s focus remains of the start of the upcoming season, and competing for a World Championship. Moving forward there will be no further in-season negotiation and the organization will refrain from commenting on this matter.”

Scherzer, at 29 years old is considered to be in his baseball prime. He settled for a one year deal for 2014 worth $15.53 million.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw signed the largest contract for a pitcher this winter. His deal is for 7 years at $215 million, topping the $180 million contract the Tigers inked with Justin Verlander last year. The Tigers signed first baseman Miguel Cabrera to a ten year extension worth $292 million in March.

With baseball contracts being guaranteed, teams are reluctant to give pitchers long term contracts as they are more prone to injuries than position players. MLB Network analyst Al Leiter has said “pitchers are one pitch away from ending their careers.

As previously reported in The Inquisitr, Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Mike Trout, 22, recently signed a six-year, $144.5 million contract and was criticized by some for leaving money on the table. Trout is widely recognized by experts to be the best all-around player in the game. At the end of the deal Trout will be 28 years old and could demand much more. As MLB economics go, $24 million a year for a player of Trout’s ability would be considered a steal.

[Image via mlbphotos.com]