DETROIT (AP) — Max Scherzer agreed to a one-year contract that leaves his future with the Detroit Tigers as uncertain as ever.
The AL Cy Young Award winner's deal for 2014 is worth $15,525,000, and it enables Scherzer and the Tigers to avoid arbitration with the right-hander's free agency still looming less than a year away.
Scherzer could have an even bigger payday coming soon — one way or another. He is eligible to go on the market after the season, although the Tigers would love to sign a long-term contract with him.
General manager Dave Dombrowski said Friday this one-year agreement doesn't necessarily preclude a lengthier deal before opening day.
"We still have that desire," Dombrowski said.
Detroit announced Scherzer's deal along with one-year agreements with right-handers Rick Porcello and Al Alburquerque, and outfielders Andy Dirks and Austin Jackson. All had filed for arbitration.
Porcello agreed at $8.05 million and Alburquerque at $837,500.
Catcher Alex Avila is Detroit's only remaining player who filed for arbitration without an agreement. He asked for a raise from $2.95 million to $5.35 million and was offered $3.75 million.
The 29-year-old Scherzer went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts last season, and the Tigers advanced to the AL championship series against Boston. He made $6,725,000 last year, and another stellar season could put the right-hander in position for a contract similar to those of teammate Justin Verlander ($180 million for seven years) and Seattle's Felix Hernandez ($175 million for seven) or even the Los Angeles Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw ($215 million for seven).