Max Scherzer, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, has rejected a six-year, $144 million contract proposal from the Detroit Tigers, a source familiar with the negotiations told FOX Sports 1.
The terms of the Tigers’ offer matched those in the contract Philadelphia Phillies ace Cole Hamels signed in 2012. Scherzer, 29, now appears certain to become a free agent at the end of this season.
Without commenting on financial terms, the Tigers said in a statement that they "made a substantial, long-term contract extension offer to Max Scherzer that would have placed him among the highest paid pitchers in baseball." The team said negotiations will not take place during the regular season.
Scherzer’s agent, Scott Boras, responded to the team’s statement by saying the pitcher himself "made a substantial, long-term offer to the Tigers that would have placed him among the highest-paid pitchers in baseball and that offer was rejected." Boras declined to comment on the financial terms of Scherzer’s offer.
Now that Clayton Kershaw has signed an extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Scherzer has positioned himself as the top free-agent pitcher available on next winter’s marketplace.