Tigers hope to extend Cabrera after failing to reach deal with Scherzer

The Tigers couldn't lock up Max Scherzer but will try to keep Miguel Cabrera for the long haul.

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport/USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers aren’t done trying to extend their star players.

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.