Tigers, Max Scherzer avoid arbitration for $15 million

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What does a 29-year-old pitcher coming off a Cy Young-winning season get in his final year of arbitration eligibility? Well, in Max Scherzer’s case Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that he’s avoided arbitration with the Tigers for $15.525 million.

That’s a huge jump from the $6.725 million Scherzer made last season, when he won an AL-best 21 games while throwing 214 innings with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts.

There’s been a ton of speculation about the Tigers possibly trading Scherzer before he can leave as a free agent next offseason and certainly a $15.525 million price tag for his final team-controlled season shows why Detroit may have trouble keeping him (and agent Scott Boras) off the open market.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.