Tigers hurler and winner of the 2013 AL Cy Young award Max Scherzer told MLB Network Radio that he doesn’t want the Tigers to trade him even though he is eligible for free agency after the 2014 season. Via ESPN:
“I don’t want to be traded,” Scherzer said. “I got a great thing going in Detroit, we have a great team. I hope they don’t mess with it. I want to be a Detroit Tiger and hopefully get back to the playoffs and try to do the ultimate goal and win something for the city of Detroit.”
Scherzer also told MLB Network Radio that the two sides haven’t discussed a contract extension. MLB Trade Rumors projects Scherzer to take home $13.6 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility. The 29-year-old right-hander finished the season with a 21-3 record and a 2.90 ERA in 214.1 innings of work. He also compiled a 2.83 ERA in 22.1 innings over three starts and one relief appearance in the playoffs, helping lead the Tigers to the ALCS, where they fell to the Red Sox in six games.
The Dodgers have pulled off their first blockbuster trade of the offseason, sending Brandon McCarthy, Scott Kazmir, Charlie Culberson, Adrian Gonzalez and cash considerations to the Braves for Matt Kemp, per announcements from both teams. The Braves are set to designate Gonzalez for assignment on Monday, making him a free agent.
Kemp, 33, had a down year with the Braves in 2017, hitting a career-low -0.5 fWAR in 115 games with the club. At the plate, he slashed a modest .276/.318/.463 with 19 home runs and a .781 OPS through 467 plate appearances, but was hampered by a nagging left hamstring strain through most of the season. This will be his 10th campaign with the Dodgers.
Whether or not Kemp can rebound during his second stint in Los Angeles is almost beside the point, however. The deal is effectively a salary dump to end all salary dumps. Offloading multiple one-year contracts for McCarthy, Kazmir and Gonzalez should bring the Dodgers back under the $197 million luxury tax threshold and position them to make a run at some of the big fish in next year’s free agent pool. It’s also worth noting that they may not keep Kemp around for long — per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the club appears as likely to flip the veteran outfielder as they are to use him. As for the Braves, they not only rid themselves of the $43 million due Kemp through 2020, but added some rotation and infield depth with McCarthy and Culberson and can now give top prospect Ronald Acuna a legitimate tryout in left field.