Max Scherzer rejects Detroit extension: ramifications for Cubs? (UPDATED)

Max Scherzer rejects Detroit extension: ramifications for Cubs? (UPDATED)

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Now, for the big time news regarding one Max Scherzer:

 

 

 

That would be Scherzer, Justin Masterson of the Indians, and James Shields of the Royals. Jon Lester of the Red Sox is currently negotiating his own salary extension with the Red Sox.  Masterson and the Tribe have broken off talks for now, and Shields and the Royals are unlikely to get an extension done.   This quartet of pitchers (assuming for this exercise that all make it to free agency) represent the four best pitchers to be had for likely a shitload of money and the forfeiture of a draft pick when all are extended the qualifying offer at the end of 2014.

Here's the statement from Detroit re: Scherzer...

 

 

Like Ken Rosenthal said, this is kind of weird to see a team put this out so publicly.  The Tigers are built to win now, so there's no way they're trading Scherzer unless something disastrous (like the other four pitchers in the rotation break down) happens and they have to turn around the roster in quick fashion.  The Indians and Royals are also win-now types in my opinion.  So all these guys (with the exception of Lester, who is more likely to be extended) should be up for grabs.

Short of trading the farm for established pitching that is still under control, the Cubs don't have a lot of upper-level impact pitching right now.  I explored the Cubs pitching future a few weeks ago and posited that until the Cubs can grow their own pitching corps, with dwindling free agent options, there will need to be some tough decisions in regards to trades.  My opinion is that the Cubs need to keep Jeff Samardzija around on his own extension (no clue if that will happen) to keep some semblance of respectability in the current rotation.  If the Cubs had enough random money lying around to throw a credible bid at Masahiro Tanaka, even with the financial restrictions that were so eloquently explained by Bleacher Nation, they should be able to land one or two of the four pitchers described above.

These aren't slouchy, filler-type pitchers off the bottom of the barrel; these are actual front-line starters that could push Samardzija, Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson (if they're still around) to the back of the rotation, and if other guys like C.J. Edwards or Pierce Johnson make the leap, the Cubs suddenly have a ton of options should they be willing to spend money in the 2014-2015 offseason.  Now, with most of the Cubs on relatively inexpensive and team-friendly deals, the team might be able to squirrel away enough cash to accommodate the exorbitantly high salaries I expect these pitchers to command and still be financially stable.

The dreaming is the easy part; now the hard part is waiting to see who's available and whether the Cubs can finally outbid the other teams for elite pitching services.

UPDATE 12:24 PM: It seems that the Tigers were the ones who backed away from the table...

 

 

Naturally you have to wonder what insane numbers Scott Boras asked for, but if it's too rich for the Tigers, would it get to the point where it's not worth it for the Cubs either, particularly with the forfeiture of their top draft pick? This will be quite the gamble no matter what as all the elite pitchers listed above are going to be on the other side of 30 when they sign.

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  • I'd love to see Ricketts open a can of whup-@$$ and sign Scherzer and Shields (and get some of the money by not extending Samardzija).

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    We'll see what happens, they have to make it to the market first!

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