While rumors have been active this offseason that the Detroit Tigers will be looking to trade starting pitcher Max Scherzer, the team appears to be in "listening, not shopping" mode, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports.
By the sound of it, the Tigers are willing to listen to offers for the Cy Young finalist, but are not looking to make offers themselves at this point. Trading Scherzer would give the team payroll flexibility as he is likely set to earn around $14 million in his final year of arbitration. The Tigers need to be wary of their finances as an extension will need to be worked out with Miguel Cabrera in the not-so-distant future.
There is still a possibility that the Tigers could re-sign Scherzer. Some analysts think that by putting him on the block, Detroit is hoping to speed up contract negotiations. However, if the team does not work out a deal and does not trade him, they risk seeing him walk in free agency next year while getting little to nothing in return.
Always known for his talent, Scherzer had a true breakout season in 2013 after posting a career 3.88 ERA in his first five seasons. He made 32 starts for the Tigers this year, earning a 2.90 ERA leading the league with a 0.97 WHIP. He also struck out an incredible 240 batters over 214⅓ innings while walking just 56.