The 2014 salary for Max Scherzer is projected at $13.6 million by MLBtraderumors.com. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)
Detroit – How high will he go?
Friday is shaping up to be an active day for the Tigers – one way or another.
They’ll either have a flurry of signings, as they did on a corresponding day last year – or they will exchange salary numbers with the players they don’t settle with who are eligible for arbitration.
And some of those numbers could open an eye or two.
Such as the amount pitcher Max Scherzer asks for after winning the American League’s Cy Young Award in 2013.
Scherzer was the only one of seven arbitration-eligible Tigers who didn’t sign on “exchange day” last year. He settled before his case went to a hearing, but if history repeats, Scherzer’s numbers will not only be exchanged on Friday, but will be made public.
Last year, the Tigers offered him $6.05 million, with Scherzer countering at $7.4 million. They settled at the mid-point of $6.725 million.
The mid-point this time, though, will be considerably higher. After the season he had, Scherzer could more than double his salary.
MLBtraderumors.com, whose content goes far beyond rumors, annually projects arbitration salaries, and their projection for Scherzer this time is $13.6 million.
If that turns out the settlement point between Scherzer and the Tigers, he’s setting himself up nicely for who knows what kind of payday if he comes close to repeating his 2013 season in 2014.
The Tigers have five other arbitration-eligible players who’ve not yet signed, however. Several of them are expected to do so before the exchange of numbers.
Those also eligible are pitchers Rick Porcello and Al Alburquerque, outfielders Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks, and catcher Alex Avila.
The Tigers went into the offseason with three other arbitration-eligible players, but they signed two of them (Phil Coke and Don Kelly) and traded the other (Doug Fister.)
Of that group, Porcello is expected to command the highest salary – the projection being $7.7 million.
The negotiations with Scherzer probably aren’t where they began this winter, though. For that matter, with Clayton Kershaw signing a seven-year $215 million contract with the Dodgers on Wednesday, they might not even be where when the week began.