Max Scherzer turned down a $144 million extension offer from Detroit during spring training and when the Tigers acquired David Price at midseason many people assumed they did so in part to balance out not being able to re-sign Scherzer as a free agent, but … well, not so fast.
According to Buster Olney of ESPN.com the Tigers “are prepared to spend big, big dollars” to re-sign Scherzer and they also want to keep Price around for the final year of his contract in 2015.
Even without re-signing Scherzer the Tigers’ rotation is currently costing them nearly $80 million, so they’d likely be going over the $100 million mark for the starting five alone (and/or perhaps trading someone like Rick Porcello).
It’s unclear if any teams will be able to talk the Royals into breaking up their great bullpen, but Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Kansas City is shopping second baseman Omar Infante.
Infante signed a four-year, $30.25 million contract with the Royals almost exactly one year ago. It was criticized a lot at the time and he went on to hit just .252 with six homers and a .632 OPS in 135 games this year.
Infante is 33 years old and is owed $7.5 million in 2015, $7.75 million in 2016, $8 million in 2017, and $10 million or a $2 million buyout in 2018. It’s hard to imagine the Royals getting much for him and presumably they’d have to eat a bunch of salary.
Francisco Liriano turned his career around in Pittsburgh and now he’s staying with the Pirates, as Robert Murray of MLB Daily Rumors reports that the free agent left-hander has agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal.
Liriano was a buy-low pickup for the Pirates two offseasons ago and provided a huge return on a minimal investment, starting 55 games with a 3.20 ERA and 338 strikeouts in 323 innings to re-emerge as one of the most dominant lefties around.
Liriano rejected the Pirates’ one-year, $15.1 million qualifying offer last month, so any other team signing him would have had to give up a draft pick to do so. Pittsburgh doesn’t have to give up anything and now has Liriano signed for similar annual money and a shorter deal than guys like Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, and Ubaldo Jimenez received last winter.
Now that Chicago’s deal to acquire Jeff Samardzija (and Michael Ynoa) from Oakland is complete, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn told reporters that he wants to sign Samardzija to a long-term contract extension.
Samardzija has one season remaining until free agency, which is why the A’s traded him, but Hahn says the White Sox “are going to make every effort in the coming weeks and months to try to make this a long-term relationship.”
Samardzija played for the Cubs previously and indicated that he liked Chicago, so presumably he’d want to stick around, but he’s also 30 years old and potentially in line for a $100 million-plus contract this time next offseason.