(Update, 12:10 p.m. ET: Change of plans? Yahoo’s Jeff Passan now reports that Scherzer is “definitely in play” for teams hoping to make a deal. “Nothing is imminent,” Passan tweeted, “but teams know he can be had.”)
The Doug Fister trade earlier this offseason appeared to set the Tigers’ rotation in stone — Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Anibal Sanchez, Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly. Scherzer’s status as a 2014 free agent-to-be left the door slightly ajar on another move.
But ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported Wednesday that the Tigers plan to hold onto Scherzer … for at least one more season:
#Tigers are telling teams they're not optimistic about getting an extension done with Max Scherzer but have no plans to deal him.
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) December 11, 2013
If the Tigers really do believe Scherzer will walk, they could look to deal him down the road, like at the trade deadline. They also could, in a more plausible scenario, play out the year and try to shoot for a World Series, then take a compensatory draft pick when Scherzer signs elsewhere.