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How the Detroit Tigers Trading for David Price May Help the New York Yankees Land Max Scherzer in Free Agency

August 4th, 2014 at 5:33 PM
By Doug Rush

On Monday, the New York Yankees will welcome in the American League Central leading Detroit Tigers as they will kick off a four-game series at Yankee Stadium.

The Tigers last week, decided to make a rather large move that shook the core of baseball when they traded for David Price of the Tampa Bay Rays and didn't have to give up that much; Austin Jackson and Drew Smyly and with Price, the Tigers now have one of, if not the best, starting rotation in all of baseball.

So how does the trading for Price by the potential American League favorite Tigers affect the Yankees going forward. Free agency is where, especially since the guy that the Yankees will see on the mound Monday night in Max Scherzer, is one of the top prizes on the market.

Scherzer rejected a six-year, $144 million offer from Detroit earlier in the year that would have kept him around and paired with Justin Verlander, continued to form one of the best 1-2 punches in all of baseball, but Scherzer is looking for the even bigger payday he likely will see in free agency come winter time. 

The Yankees, who already have uncertainty facing their rotation next season, especially with CC Sabathia undergoing knee surgery, Hiroki Kuroda's pending free agency, Ivan Nova recovering from Tommy John Surgery, among other variables, will likely be in the market for pitching again and with Scherzer coming off yet another solid season for Detroit, it makes sense for the Yankees to pursue him this coming winter.

And what could make it even more interesting is that with Detroit trading for Price and having him under contract for 2015; maybe even longer, the Tigers might have already accepted the fact that they are going to lose Scherzer to free agency and possibly to a team in need of pitching like the Yankees, who have shown everyone that they're willing to spend the money so long as it doesn't cost them prospects in order to do so, which is why Cole Hamels wasn't dealt for last month.

Scherzer will be joined by Jon Lester and James Shields as the three best pitchers available on the market and the Yankees could be in on all of them; Lester will be even more interesting because Oakland can't offer him a qualifying offer and attach a first-round pick from his departure, so his price tag might go up and the Yankees, pending CC's knee progress, could be in the market for him as well.

But with Masahiro Tanaka's 2015 status up in the air, especially if he needs Tommy John Surgery at any point in his rehab, the Yankees right now could be the early favorites to land Scherzer in November or December once he hits free agency.

And the Yankees have shown in the past; especially with Tanaka, that they are willing to pay through the nose in order to get the starting pitching they want and if Scherzer is someone the Yankees want and are willing to bid and outbid everyone else for him, then he'll likely be wearing pinstripes in April. If Scherzer was about staying in Detroit and continuing to win, yes, he would have accepted the Tigers offer, but he wants the payday, and in athletes's cases and careers, he should get the money while it's there. And with him being a Cy Young candidate again, he's clearly one of the best starters in the game in line for a massive payday.

And thus with Scherzer's eventual goodbye from the Motor City, the reason why the Tigers getting the insurance on his departure by trading for Price, which if that's the case, Tampa Bay really screwed themselves even further by not only not getting enough in a return deal, but helped the Yankees out in the future.

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Tags: Baseball, David Price, Detroit Tigers, Max Scherzer, MLB, New York, New York Yankees

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