By: Eric Thomas
After this year, it seems like the height of insanity for the Tigers to trade Max Scherzer. He’s a likely Cy Young winner whose name seems written in the skies of Detroit following game four of the ALDS. If you’re queasy, you’re not alone—but it’s important to take a breath and consider the context.
Scherzer has been the unquestioned best thing that the Curtis Granderson trade brought to Detroit. In years past, Tiger fans have endured an oscillation between Scherzer’s seemingly two skill levels, so easy to spot and define that Detroit fans have developed Sybil-like names for them.
“Mad Max,” a fireball pitcher with the ability to threaten the single game strikeout record, and “Bad Max” who is capable of leaving in the second inning with Tiger fans crushing their Twitter-complaining thumbs into their phones until the glass screen shatters. In 2013, Max turned a corner, and Mad Max appears to have eaten Bad Max. He’s become the ace of the staff, and the only Tiger pitcher we’d ever ask start the All Star Game.
It’s hard not to hate the trade rumors. We were just starting to like Max. Fans might feel a little cheated sending a probable Cy Young winner on the road after Justin Verlander’s struggles. The regular season would be twenty-one wins shy without Max.
After you finish breathing into the paper bag you keep next to the couch specifically for all things Tiger-related, let’s consider some context. Max Scherzer came to Detroit from the Curtis Granderson trade. Fans hated the move at the time. In hindsight, the Tigers got three players that contributed to deep playoff runs. Austin Jackson might be struggling right now, but he was great last year and parts of this year. Phil Coke…just focus on the playoffs last year and ignore everything else.
Max is at his peak value. Teams will send the farm for him. The Tigers can’t resign Max for what he’s worth, because money is eventually a finite resource. Mr. Ilitch has been beyond generous with his largesse and Tigers fans have a cheer-worthy product because of him (most days). Expecting the Tigers to keep Max coming off his monster 2013 is delusional.
Let’s just hope that Dombrowski can pull a rabbit out of his hat with this trade, a repeat of the Granderson trade. If he gives away Max Scherzer for a bag of rocks, we will never forgive him.