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AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer agreed to a one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers for $15,525,000, avoiding arbitration with free agency still looming less than a year away.
Scherzer could have an even bigger payday coming soon one way or another. He is eligible to go on the market after the season, although the Tigers would love to avoid that by signing him to a long-term contract.
General manager Dave Dombrowski said Friday this one-year agreement doesn't necessarily mean the Tigers are any less likely to sign Scherzer to a lengthier deal before opening day.
"We still have that desire," Dombrowski said.
Detroit announced Scherzer's deal along with one-year agreements with right-handers Rick Porcello and Al Alburquerque, and outfielders Andy Dirks and Austin Jackson. All had filed for arbitration.
The 29-year-old Scherzer went 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts last season, and the Tigers advanced to the AL championship series against Boston.
He made $6,725,000 last year, and another stellar season could put the right-hander in position for a contract similar to those of teammate Justin Verlander ($180 million for seven years) and Seattle's Felix Hernandez ($175 million for seven).
Buck joins Mariners
Catcher John Buck and the Mariners have finalized a $1 million, one-year contract, giving Seattle another veteran option behind the plate.
The Taylorsville High School graduate can earn $3 million in performance bonuses, with half based on games started and half on plate appearances.
The 33-year-old hit .215 with 15 homers and 60 RBIs in 101 games last year for the New York Mets, who traded him to Pittsburgh on Aug. 27. He batted .292 with two RBIs in nine games for the Pirates.
Around the horn
Rockies • Colorado agreed to one-year deals with right-handed pitcher Juan Nicasio and outfielder Drew Stubbs. Nicasio is coming off a season in which he went 9-9 with a 5.14 ERA in 31 starts. Stubbs was picked up in a trade with Cleveland last month for left-hander Josh Outman.
Yankees • Outfielder Brett Gardner and pitchers Ivan Nova, David Robertson and Shawn Kelley have agreed to one-year contracts with the New York Yankees, raising the team's luxury tax payroll to about $181.5 million for 19 players with agreements.