Over the past month or two there were some reports that the Tigers were eager to re-sign Max Scherzer. But Jon Morosi reports today that, even if some in the front office were up for it, the owner likely would not have approved the deal, as he more or less cut bait on Scherzer last year after the righty rejected a $144 million offer:
. . . it’s very likely that Scherzer’s $144 million tender was the largest final offer rejected by an Ilitch employee in more than 50 combined seasons of Tigers and Red Wings ownership.
After Scherzer said no to that sum, sources say Ilitch never became fully re-engaged in trying to retain him — financially and perhaps emotionally, as well.
Huge deals like that always have to have ownership sign-off, and huge deals like that likely have an emotional component to them as well. Yes, we can crunch numbers all day and attempt to assign dollar values to them, but on a pretty basic level, the top-end deals require a calculation of how much a team is willing to overpay in order to win a championship in the short term. At least that’s how Ilitch appears to operate.
In light of that, it’s not all that surprising, really, that he wasn’t willing to go bigger than he had last year to sign Scherzer.