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Detroit Tigers prepared to spend big to sign Max Scherzer

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Scherzer turned down the Tigers' first offer, but the club is reportedly willing to spend big for one of the top arms on the market.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Max Scherzer turned down the Tigers' initial $144 million contract proposal during spring training, but after considering other options are interested in making him a second offer. ESPN's Buster Olney notes that the Tigers are "prepared to spend big" in order to bring the 30-year old starter back to Detroit.

Scherzer is one of several front of the rotation arms available, and has drawn a notable amount of interest from clubs looking to add a starting pitcher. After acquiring David Price from the Rays last July, many believed the Tigers were internally convinced they would be unable to resign Scherzer at the end of the season. He is coming off of an 18-5 campaign, during which he posted a 3.15 ERA and 2.85 FIP in 220.1 innings pitched. Scherzer has been consistent and durable, making him attractive to clubs pursuing pitching.

Detroit has had a rather quiet offseason to this point, most notably trading for Shane Greene and Anthony Gose. Even without Scherzer, the Tigers have one of baseball's more expensive starting rotations. Tigers starters will have combined salaries of $80 million heading into 2015, and if the team was to resign Scherzer, the salary of the rotation alone would likely be over $100 million.

If the Tigers were able to resign Scherzer, they may look to trade other pieces of their rotation. Detroit has fielded calls on both Rick Porcello and David Price, however Olney also notes that the club is not looking to trade Price but rather keep him in the rotation. Should Scherzer be resigned, Porcello or Anibal Sanchez could be dealt.

Detroit's six-year offer was not sufficient enough to get a deal complete the first time, and an extended deal that exceeds $180 million is likely what Scherzer would request. Although several teams have made offers to free agent starters, deals may not be complete until Jon Lester makes his decision and sets the market.

The Cubs, Red Sox, Giants, Yankees, and Dodgers have all also been linked to Scherzer this offseason.