Scherzer is coming off his best season, going 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA. The AL Cy Young award favorite threw a career high 214 1/3 innings this year and struck out 240 batters, the second most in the AL.
The right-hander is entering his final season of arbitration, and is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2014 season. The starting pitching free agent market will be weak this off-season, leading to speculation among baseball executives that Detroit will listen to offers for Scherzer.
The Tigers, however, are still interested in signing Scherzer to a long-term contract. One baseball executive speculated that the team will place the pitcher on the block to hurry up negotiations, telling Sherman:
"It might be posturing to try to influence Scherzer to engage in a long-term contract. Try to scare him that he will get traded so he can pressure [agent] Scott Boras. It won't work, but I think that's the tactic."
Detroit has already handed out expensive long-term contracts to Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, but Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told Sherman that the team could afford a fourth contract worth at least $20 million annually.