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Max Scherzer reaches 1-year, $15.5-million deal with Tigers

Scherzer's deal leaves the Cy Young Award winner less than a year from free agency.

January 17, 2014|Staff and Wire reports
  • Max Scherzer won 21 games for the Detroit Tigers last season while striking out 240 batters and allowing 56 walks.
Max Scherzer won 21 games for the Detroit Tigers last season while striking… (Mike Mulholland / Associated…)

AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer and major league home run champion Chris Davis reached rich deals as players and teams swapped proposed figures in salary arbitration.

Ninety-one players reached agreements Friday, leaving 39 headed toward hearings next month in St. Petersburg, Fla., from among the 146 who filed for arbitration earlier in the week.

Scherzer and the Detroit Tigers reached a one-season deal for $15,525,000 that leaves him less than a year from free agency. Davis and the Baltimore Orioles agreed at $10.35 million.

Among the players still in arbitration, Cleveland pitcher Justin Masterson asked for the most at $11.8 million, with the Indians offering $8.05 million. The $3.75-million gap is the largest among the pending cases. Cincinnati pitcher Homer Bailey had the second-highest request at $11.6 million, with the Reds offering $8.7 million.

Among the settlements, Washington agreed to a $24-million, two-year deal with pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and a $17.5-million, two-year contract with shortstop Ian Desmond.

Angels agree to terms with Frieri and Salas

The Angels agreed to terms with closer Ernesto Frieri ($3.8 million) and reliever Fernando Salas ($870,000) on 2014 contracts, avoiding arbitration with the pair of right-handers.

But they were unable to agree to terms with new third baseman David Freese and reliever Kevin Jepsen before Friday’s deadline for arbitration-eligible players to exchange salary figures with their clubs.

Both Freese, acquired from St. Louis in the Peter Bourjos trade, and Jepsen are under club control for next season, but if they are unable to agree to terms on contracts, they would go to arbitration hearings in February.

Freese, who hit .262 with a .340 on-base percentage, .381 slugging percentage, nine home runs and 60 runs batted in for St. Louis, asked for $6 million, and the Angels countered at $4.1 million.

Jepsen, who went 1-3 with a 4.50 earned-run average in 45 games and underwent a season-ending appendectomy in late August, asked for $1.625 million, and the Angels countered at $1.3 million.

The hard-throwing Frieri, 28, acquired from San Diego in May 2012, went 2-4 with a 3.80 ERA in 67 games last season, converting 37 of 41 save opportunities, striking out 98 and walking 30 in 68 2/3 innings.

Salas, 28, also acquired from the Cardinals in the Bourjos trade, split 2013 between triple-A Memphis and St. Louis, compiling a 4.50 ERA in 27 games in the big leagues and a 1.90 ERA and 12 saves in 22 games in the minor leagues.

Salas, who is expected to compete for a bullpen spot this spring, went 5-6 with a 2.28 ERA and 24 saves in 68 games for the Cardinals in 2011.

— Mike DiGiovanna

The Dodgers exchanged salary figures with their two remaining arbitration-eligible players. Closer Kenley Jansen asked for $5.05 million and was offered $3.5 million by the Dodgers. Catcher A.J. Ellis asked for $4.6 million and was offered $3 million.

— Dylan Hernandez

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