Max Scherzer rejected the team's offer of a six-year, $144 million extension, but major-league sources told FOX Sports 1 the team has opened contract talks with two-time reigning American League Most Valuable Player Miguel Cabrera.
Talks with Cabrera are at a preliminary stage, sources say, and he won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season. However, the Tigers have a history of extending superstars when they have two years left on their contracts; that was the case for Cabrera's first long-term deal, as well as both of Justin Verlander's extensions. The same agency -- Relativity Baseball -- represents both Cabrera and Verlander.
Scherzer had set an Opening Day deadline for extension talks, and the Tigers released a statement Sunday morning when it became clear a deal wouldn't be reached. The negotiations with Cabrera don't appear to have an Opening Day deadline.
Cabrera, 30, would start his next contract at age 32 -- the same age as Albert Pujols when he began his 10-year, $240 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels. The Pujols contract could become a benchmark in the Cabrera negotiations, because the two have similar statistical profiles and play the same position (first base).
Cabrera's representatives may contend that he deserves a larger contract than Pujols, because of the upward trend in overall player salaries since Pujols signed his contract in December 2011.