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Scherzer balks at contracts talk during season

The SportsXchange

Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer reaffirmed his stance on Friday that any contract discussions with the team will not extend into the season.

Scherzer is willing to talk until Opening Day. If nothing is not done by then, he said there will be no deal until after the season ends.

The 29-year-old ace is in the final arbitration year of his contract worth $15.53 million this season. If the Tigers fail to sign him, he would become a free agent for the first time in his career and be in line for a huge payday.

"For me, now that I'm here in spring training, my focus right now is all about getting on the field and trying to win," Scherzer said, according to the Detroit Free Press. "I'm not going to negotiate during the season. This can be a major distraction.

"I understand I have a chance to secure my future here with the team. I want that to happen. But at the same time, I'm not going to drag negotiations out into the season. That's unfair to the team, unfair to me and my teammates. They don't need to have that type of thought process going on."

Scherzer would not reveal whether any contract discussions have taken place. He is represented by agent Scott Boras.

"I'm not discussing negotiations in the media," Scherzer said. "Those are private."

The right-hander is coming off an American League Cy Young Award-winning season. He finished 2013 with a 21-3 record, a 2.90 ERA and a career-best 240 strikeouts in 214 1/3 innings spanning 32 starts. In the postseason, he was 2-1 with a 2.82 ERA against the Oakland Athletics and Boston Red Sox.
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