Oh, Good: Teams “Know” that Max Scherzer is “Definitely in Play”

detroit tigers logoWhen the Detroit Tigers surprisingly swapped Prince Fielder (and his hefty contract) for Ian Kisler, most assumed that they would use those long-term savings to lock up AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer to a deal. Scherzer is otherwise a free agent after the season, and there were whispers before that deal went down that the Tigers would consider offers for Scherzer.

Unfortunately for folks already unnerved by a tight trade market for Jeff Samardzija, those whispers are popping back up.

Jeff Passan reports that Scherzer is “definitely in play,” and although nothing is imminent, teams know that he can be had. If true, it’s another top arm available on the market. No, Scherzer doesn’t come with the two years of control that would accompany Samardzija or David Price, but he’s coming off an enormous year, and is just 29. He could command a significant return, and could be the preferred trade option for a number of teams.

With Scherzer and Justin Masterson reportedly on the market, together with Price and Samardzija, teams certainly have a number of trade options for shorter-term front-of-the-rotation arms. And then there are the free agent options, and Masahiro Tanaka …

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

78 responses to “Oh, Good: Teams “Know” that Max Scherzer is “Definitely in Play””

  1. macpete22

    Hey maybe the Cubs could trade Russell, Barney and Blake Parker for Scherzer! (Sarcasm)

    1. David

      Barney alone, don’t get generous.

  2. MightyBear

    I wonder if Scherzer would be more amenable to an extension than the Shark. Getting Scherzer would be the TOR guy the Cubs are looking for.

    1. CubFan Paul

      The Cubs have the prospect depth to ask and the available salary space for an extension.

      1. TWC

        So Darwin Barney alone won’t do it?

  3. JulioZuleta

    I would hold on to Samardzija for a month or so unless a surprisingly high offer comes in. Wait until these other trades happen and the free agents like Garza/Santana/Jimenez sign. Maybe a team gets desperate if one of its division rivals picks up a top end guy. Just doesn’t look like the value is out there right now.

  4. Eric

    I don’t think this narrows the market for Shark, it merely lowers the price that the FO would be asking.

    If the FO is asking for a similar group of prospects that the Tigers would be asking for Scherzer, then obviously you go with Scherzer with the hopes of locking him up long term.

  5. Stevie B

    This is really putting the screws to the FO. No one is going to pony up and Shark wont give us a discount.
    Looks like he’s a Cub for a while, at least

    1. willis

      Good. There’s plenty of time to negotiate an extension and worst case you have a good power arm in your rotation for awhile.

      1. D-Rock

        Agreed. They should hold tight right now.

      2. jkppkj

        Worst case scenario is he doesn’t improve or gets worse, and loses value. Not that unlikely of a scenario at all.

  6. AD

    The Market is too crowded for a Shark trade. They will have to weight until the trade deadline or work out an extension.

  7. Rebuilding

    What exactly are the Tigers doing? They haven’t made a deal that makes sense, yet

    1. Edwin

      The Fielder deal was a clear win. But then the Fister deal was a clear loss.

      1. ssckelley

        I disagree, the Fielder deal was a clear loss at this point. It may turn into a win if the money they saved on Fielder nets them a free agent.

      2. Rebuilding

        We’ll have to agree to disagree on the Fielder deal. I think he rebounds majorly this year (messy personal issues done) and I think Kinsler has already started a sharp decline. For a team obviously going for it and not close to the salary cap it doesn’t make sense unless they were shedding payroll to re-sign Scherzer. IMHO

  8. itzscott

    It appears that Samardzija isn’t the hot commodity we were hyped to believe he would be.

  9. JulioZuleta

    Completely fine holding on to him til the deadline. I think the value lost between 2 full years and 1.5 years is marginal. Nowhere near the difference between 1 full year and half a year.

  10. Dustin S

    Quiet…almost too quiet…

    On Scherzer, another angle to ponder is that it pushes the Cubs a bit since he would be prime trade deadline bait competition if the Tigers don’t trade him now.

  11. FullCountTommy

    I don’t know how available Scherzer is. The Tigers probably just know that Scott Boras clients usually don’t sign extensions and like to explore the free agent market. I fully expect Max will be a Tiger come Opening Day

  12. jmc

    careful ad. misspelling. Brett will chastise you lol

  13. Diamondrock

    Not really on topic, but I gotta say: that particular Detroit Tigers logo gives me the heebie jeebies. Something about the the too round and too wide eyes combined with that slack, tooth-filled maw. I much prefer the Tiger logo of my Japanese team, the *Hanshin* Tigers:

    ipydznvguz989lh8v2yi.gif

    1. Frank

      Thanks for pointing that out. Now I’m creaped out.

  14. Cedlandrum

    Well this is the kind of player the Cubs should be making a move for, but it won’t happen or work because of timing.

  15. Senor Cub

    Scherzer, now that’s the guy the Cubs should go for. If he is open to an extension at 29, he would be the FOR guy the Cubs have been searching for. They don’t fall from the sky. Keep Shark and if he becomes a true #2 then you give him market value next year or the following year. You could part with one of the Big 4 for Scherzer. You could even swap him for Shark as long as he signs long term contract. ( don’t go getting all wild here, Shark for a FOR guy is a great deal).

    This pitching could be solved for many years to come today! The only one you would really be giving up a top guy for is Scherzer. WS Guaranteed, it’s nice to dream!

    Scherzer
    Sanchez
    Garza
    Shark
    Wood

    1. Brian Peters

      You’re smoking some heavy-duty crack.

  16. Frank

    Anyone watch Hot Stove this morning? They were talking about Shark and the trade/contract out there. It went like this:
    He doesn’t want to tie himself long term to an organazation that has been in a kind of rebuilding program for, lets be frank, close to 100 years. Right? hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    Well, fuck you assholes.
    I couldn’t make out what harold reynolds said to matt shitersian, so if anyone watched this, let me know.

    1. Carew

      Matt Vasgersian is an ass. Harold Reynolds can be sometimes too, but Vasgersian is all the time.

    2. itzscott

      >> Well, fuck you assholes.<<

      Look, we can all be as indignant about it as we want, but that's a fact and a huge obstacle for the Cub organization to overcome which just adds to the challenges this team seems to face as opposed to just about any other team.

      You can pay a FA all the money in the world, but if they aren't "gamers" wanting to win at all costs, it doesn't matter. The Cub reputation supercedes them in the minds of those players with the heart of a champion and none of them wish to have their legacy be that of a loser. So the Cubs would likely be their last choice right now.

      Obviously Shark wants to win and doesn't see it happening anytime soon with the Cubs.

      1. Voice of Reason

        Its silly to say free agents won’t come here because we haven’t won in 100 years.

        So, cano would have said no if the cubs would have offered $10 million more than the mariners? Choo won’t come here if the cubs offer him what he wants? Give me a break.

        Cano didn’t go to the mariners because of their winning tradition.

        1. itzscott

          Why do you think Girardi didn’t want the Cub job and the Cubs have to settle for slugs like Sveum and now Renteria…. two guys with no experience just happy to be able to land a manager’s job anywhere?

          1. Voice of Reason

            The cubs were outbid by the Yankees for girardi. They took a swing at what they perceive as the top manager in the game. The Yankees feel girardi is tops, too, so they opened up their wallets and went higher than the cubs wanted to.

            Had nothing to do with girardi not wanting to be here

            Were stuck with renteria and sveum cause were rebuilding and don’t want to spend a ton of money for a manager right now.

            They tried for girardi cause they thought he best and could help move rebuild along faster and take the team to a world series.

            1. hansman

              “The cubs were outbid by the Yankees for girardi. They took a swing at what they perceive as the top manager in the game.”

              Except the Cubs didn’t even get a PA against Girardi.

              The Yankees hit the game winning home run with the Cubs standing large in the on-deck circle.

        2. aaronb

          The 100 years might not be an issue. The fact that we are running this thing Florida Marlins style might be a bigger issue though.

      2. Frank

        I don’t blame him if he wants to wait it out and sign for big $$$$. If he deserves big bucks, bless his heart. The problem I have is that the Cubs get no respect and people laugh and maybe they deserve it, but it still pisses me off to no end.

      3. beerhelps

        reasons free agents sign or stay with certain teams:
        1. money
        2. money
        3-50. money
        51. family considerations
        1278. “want to win”

      4. BT

        This is complete nonsense.

  17. jmc

    point taken webmaster.

  18. Austin8466

    Scherzer is a guy that would be good for the future of the Cubs, and trading for him only increases the market value of Samardzija.

    GO GET HIM THEPSTEIN!

    1. Carew

      If they were to trade for Scherzer, they should keep Samardzija, not trade him

    2. bbmoney

      Scherzer is great. But one year of control only….. And boras clients aren’t known for signing extensions.

  19. jmc

    or is it webmeister? never got the nomenclature straight..uh Oh somebody just posted a swear word…

  20. Mike

    Scherzer could be an option for the Mariners since it looks like Price doesn’t want to go there…I think the cubs will come to terms with shark…they need him…they don’t have too many arms ready to come up in the system right now and we really don’t have enough to tell whether or not arrieta wood or rusin will be a consistent presence in the rotation for years to come…shark isn’t an ace by any means but we know he isn’t injury prone and will eat a lot of innings for us

    1. Brian Peters

      Shark is a 3 starter. Dump him.

  21. commander bob

    Should be easy to get Scherzer. Put him in a rotation with Price, Tanaka, Wood and Big Shark and we’ll have sustained success and multiple /ws championships.

    I’d give them Barney, Lake and neifi and leftovers from Wildfire.

  22. Brian Peters

    Who cares? The Cubs–in their current stage–suck out the ass and don’t even deserve to be invited to the Winter Meetings.

  23. Voice of Reason

    There is no way the tigers trade max. Its all part of the art of negotiating. They’re built to win now. They traded fielder to free up money to sign their ace starter. They would have kept foster as he would be cheaper alternative to max.

    Scherzer isn’t going anywhere.

    1. mjhurdle

      if the Tigers aren’t trading Max, what advantage in negotiations is there in spreading the idea that he is available?
      Any team Max goes to will pay him a good extension, so how does this help thier negotiations with him?
      “Max, you accept our offer or we will trade you to this team that will then give you probably a better offer because they can’t afford to trade for you then let you walk in FA”

      1. Voice of Reason

        Why would they say he’s available?

        Well that’s easy. They want to show to max and his agent that he can be traded just like fielder and that max is not as important as he thinks.

        The art of negotiating.

        1. mjhurdle

          but that does nothing in the negotiations with Scherzer.
          If Scherzer is looking for a certain $$/Years contract, threatening to trade him to a team that will have a higher chance of giving him what he wants doesn’t really strengthen Detroit’s position. if anything it weakens it.
          If this is Detriot’s “art” of negotiating, then they are doing it with Crayola Over-sized Washable crayons.

  24. The Logos

    This is getting out of control. If I’m the Cubs, I make it “known” that Samardzija is not available, anymore, and stop fielding calls for a while. Maybe that forces a team to get desperatea with a knock-your-socks-off deal. Or not, and you trade him at the deadline.

    1. Carew

      How exactly is it getting out of control?

    2. AdamAE24

      No one is going to lure themselves into a false sense of desperation on December 11th.

      Samardzija will not be dealt before July, unless the Cubs get antsy and worry about his potential value moving forward.

    3. ssckelley

      There is nothing going out of control, this is what happens when the winter meetings take place. What do you think they do all day, sit around and drink or do power point presentations? The Cubs know what they have and know what they want, no matter what the market does their asking price should not change.

      1. The Logos

        What I meant by “out of control” is that there are too many pitchers available (Tanaka, Maeda are possibilities, Scherzer, Price, Garza, Jimenez, Santana, etc.). The market is way too saturated to get a good deal. So, I think the Cubs would benefit a lot by making him unavailable. There is a possibility someone gets irrational and makes a crazy offer. If not, that’s just fine. I expect there will be much better demand at the deadline.

        1. Senor Cub

          Logos – then the Cubs should be buyers. It’s simple economics of supply/demand. Too much supply bodes well for the Cubs. They have some money to spend and pitching is after all the #1 Priority!!!

          Don’t much care for Santana but the rest of the names you mentioned are welcomed in Cubby blue!

          1. The Logos

            Nah, we know it’s not that simple. Even if it were, I probably would only invest in Tanaka and Maeda. Tanaka – Jackson – Wood – Maeda – Samardzija (until you trade him midseason)/Arrieta sounds good to me.

          2. ssckelley

            I agree, it is to bad the Cubs were not trying to win next season. The market seems to favor the buyers right now more than the sellers.

  25. jmc

    Honestly Brett I don’t know what I did to get the bee under your bonnet. Early morning comments were meant to point out that the Cubs owner was disingenuous when he said basically he did not know anything about anything that the media was talking about regarding the Cubs. My comments were ineptly expressed I tried to clarify and apologized. Ban me from the site if I am offending you. Subsequent posts pointed out the difficulty of the plan. No apologies there

    1. TWC

      Maybe you should consider just letting … it … go ….

  26. Brother Tim

    Matt Garza to Arizona appears imminent. That will officially put an end to Samardzija talk to the Diamondbacks.

    Meanwhile, Theo and Jed were spotted at Splash Mountain. Rumor has it that they will head over Epcot in the afternoon.

    1. Carew

      stop with these stupid “Theo and Jed unproductive” jokes

    2. C. Steadman

      i normally dont like the “oh, i’m mad the Cubs arent doing anything” posts, but this one made me chuckle a bit

    3. commander bob

      I’m sure the dynamic duo will be heading over to the twilight zone elevator ride so they can get a first hand look into the future as the majority of prospects crash and burn. I feel sorry for Ricketts.

  27. Sacko

    From Hammel to Scherzer..you bet..nothing else to talk about except what other teams are doing.

  28. jmc

    TWC you are right. Peace out

  29. cubsfan08

    Question – and I’m sure it’s been addressed multiple times already somewhere here already…

    Rumors are that Samardzija wants a NTC if he were to sign an extension. Seems almost to be a solid business tactic on his end to gauge the Cubs’ true interest in him. If he were to sign an extension today – wouldn’t he be an even more valuable piece to most teams going forward. If he were locked into a reasonable 5 year contract, couldn’t the Cubs take advantage of that and flip him right after the ink dries and get even more for him in trade?

    In essence take advantage of any perceived “generosity” to get even more for him? So he basically wants the NTC at a friendly rate, or more money over the deal to protect against being taken advantage of if no NTC is included.

  30. North Side Irish

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 5m
    Sources: #BlueJays have looked into #Rays’ Price, #Cubs’ Samardzija. Consider prices to be too high. Asked often about Sanchez, Stroman.

    Not surprising prices are high. Won’t be a deal without Toronto giving up one of those two. Starting to sound like a July trade is more likely.

    1. On The Farm

      Isn’t it obvious that any deal the Jays make for a blue chip player is going to cost them one of Stroman or Sanchez? I suppose they could call to gauge interest, but you would think they knew before picking up the phone that teams are going to want one of those two in the package.

      1. YourResidentJag

        AA may be out as GM for Jays next year. :)

        1. DocPeterWimsey

          Yeah, he’s still in trouble in some quarters for not bidding $1.4 million more on Darvish…. ;-)

    2. YourResidentJag

      Probably won’t get these types of players in July, either, though.

      1. ssckelley

        I agree, teams are putting a high premium on prospects right now.

        1. YourResidentJag

          Yep. If Shark is traded in July and coming off a solid first half of the season, he’ll still prob net you a centerpiece of a #2-#3 in A Ball.

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