The Detroit Tigers have to be ecstatic this evening after agreeing to a one-year deal with pitcher Max Scherzer, thereby avoiding arbitration. There are four reasons that make the Tigers clear winners with this agreement tonight.
According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, Scherzer's one-year deal is worth $6.725 million.
scherzer's agreement at $6.725M was the midpoint between his $7.4M request and tigers $6.05M bid— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) February 4, 2013
With the agreement being split at $6.725 million, it saves the Tigers $675,000.
The second reason is that after the one-year agreement, the Tigers have no more players that need to go through arbitration. This will allow them to focus on the season ahead.
According to Josh Slagter of MLive.com, an impressive fact is that under GM Dave Dombrowski, the Tigers have never had to go to an arbitration hearing against a player. That's a tribute to his leadership and stands as another reason why players like playing for the Tigers.
A third positive for the Tigers is that they are in a position of strength, since $6.725 million is reasonable for a pitcher of Scherzer's caliber.
Lastly and most importantly, this deal prevents the Tigers and Scherzer from facing off against each other. If Scherzer and the Tigers didn't come to an agreement this week, then they would have gone to arbitration. This was a situation that neither party wanted and that was thankfully settled.
Going along with what MLB Trade Rumors explained regarding the general process of arbitration, the arbitrator would have been forced to choose between the Tigers' offer of $6.05 million or Scherzer's request of $7.4 million. At the very least, this would have forced one party to walk away unhappy.
If Scherzer would have attended the arbitration hearing, which is within his rights, he may have felt alienated from the Tigers' organization. Scherzer appears to be mentally tough after pitching brilliantly in 2012 while dealing with personal tragedy. While Scherzer likely could have handled the arbitration hearing, no player should be subjected to his own team being critical of them and this agreement now ensures that won't happen this year.
I was an advocate of Scherzer getting traded this offseason, but hope it doesn't occur during the season. However, if the Tigers fall out of playoff contention, they have a very valuable trade chip in Scherzer that could secure several young players for the future.
In today's game, it's all about assets—and the Tigers are sitting in a position of strength.