Lakeland, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer has declined a long-term contract offer from the club.
Scherzer avoided arbitration in January, agreeing to a one-year deal that is reportedly worth $15.25 million. The Cy Young winner can become a free agent after the 2014 season.
Talks with agent Scott Boras for a long-term deal continued through the spring, but were unsuccessful and the Tigers said Sunday that further discussions would not take place during the season.
"The Detroit Tigers have made a substantial, long-term contract extension offer to Max Scherzer that would have placed him among the highest paid pitchers in baseball, and the offer was rejected," the Tigers said in a statement.
Scherzer was 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts in 32 starts with the Tigers last year. He became the second Tiger in three years to capture the Cy Young, following 2011 winner Justin Verlander, who agreed to a five-year extension with a vesting option for 2020 last spring.
"As we have reiterated, it has been the organization's intent to extend Max's contract and keep him in a Tigers uniform well beyond the 2014 season," the Tigers' statement continued. "While this offer would have accomplished that, the ballclub's focus remains on the start of the upcoming season, and competing for a world championship. Moving forward there will be no further in-season negotiation and the organization will refrain from commenting on this matter."
Scherzer will be entering his fifth year with the Tigers, who acquired him from Arizona as part of a three-team deal that sent Curtis Granderson to the New York Yankees before the 2010 season.
The 29-year-old right-hander has been a double-digit winner in each of his four seasons with Detroit and has a record of 64-30 with a 3.62 ERA in 128 starts as a Tiger. He was 9-15 with a 3.86 ERA in two years for Arizona.
Overall, Scherzer owns a career mark of 73-45 with a 3.67 ERA and has 1,069 strikeouts in 1,019 innings in 174 games, all but nine of which have been starts.