Baseball’s trade market could involve two of the game’s best starting pitchers.
The first, Tampa Bay Rays‘ left-hander David Price, has been circulating in rumors for months already, and earlier this week, he himself confirmed there’s a good chance he’s dealt this winter. The other is a bit of a shock.
Detroit Tigers‘ right-hander Max Scherzer, who is likely en route to the American League Cy Young award after a 21-3 campaign, could also be dealt, according to a report from CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler.
So just why would Detroit trade half of the best 1-2 punch in the American League pitching corps?
Because Scherzer is one year away from free agency and is a Scott Boras client who is very unlikely to sign a long-term deal this close to being able to test the market. The Tigers may make an attempt to sign him after this season, but they realize that it’s unlikely he would accept a deal now.
His annual worth is likely to skyrocket towards $15-$20 million, up from the $6.73 million the Tigers paid him this year. Detroit has three players making more than $20 million annually, including Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, in addition to three others (Torii Hunter, Anibal Sanchez and Victor Martinez) who will earn between $12-$16 million next year.
The Tigers have shown no resistance to spending large amounts of money in pursuit of an ever-elusive World Series title, but according to Knobler, it remains to be seen if that will be the style ownership takes in coming years.
Scherzer compiled the aforementioned 21-3 record this season while also notching 240 punchouts in 32 starts. His 2.90 earned run average was the best of his career, and ranked fifth in the American League.
However, his future may hinge more on the outcome of tonight’s pivotal Game 5 in the ALDS in Oakland.
Some baseball people familiar with the Tigers believe that the team’s winter plans — including a possible Scherzer trade — could hinge on whether the Tigers win Thursday night’s Game 5 in Oakland to advance to the AL Championship Series. There’s some belief that if the Tigers lose that game, there could be significant changes before next season.