The Detroit Tigers reached one-year agreements with five players including Max Scherzer, the American League’s Cy Young Award winner last season, to avoid salary arbitration.
The Tigers didn’t reveal financial details in a statement on their website last night. The deal with Scherzer, who is eligible to become a free agent after the 2014 season, is worth $15.5 million, according to MLB.com.
The value of the season-long accord may mean Scherzer is in position to reach a long-term deal with the Tigers that’s comparable to the $180 million, seven-year accord that Detroit gave Justin Verlander last offseason. Clayton Kershaw this week reached a $215 million, seven-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the richest ever for a pitcher.
Right-handed pitchers Rick Porcello and Al Alburquerque, and outfielders Andy Dirks and Austin Jackson also agreed to one-year contracts with Detroit.
Scherzer, 29, who earned $6.73 million last year according to ESPN, opened the year 13-0, the first pitcher to win at least 13 games without a loss to start the season since Roger Clemens with the Boston Red Sox in 1986. He went 19-1 for the best record since Clemens’s 20-1 in 2001, and finished 21-3 with a 2.90 earned run average.
Scherzer was Major League Baseball’s only 20-game winner this season, with the best record since Cliff Lee was 22-3 in 2008. The second Tigers pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in three years, he was second to Yu Darvish of the Texas Rangers in strikeouts with 240.