By Ashley Dunkak
@AshleyDunkak

CBS DETROIT – Max Scherzer elected to hit free agency rather than re-sign early with the Detroit Tigers, and David Price is evidently on track to do the same, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

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“While the Tigers would love to sign him, word is they aren’t overwhelmingly confident they’ll be able to keep him long-term,” Heyman wrote. “Not much has come out about their late-spring talks, but Tigers people seem to be under the (probably correct) belief he hopes to top Max Scherzer, who signed for $210 million after turning down Detroit’s $144 million offer.”

The report does not come as much of a shock given comments Price made back in January, when he said he would be open to a long-term deal with the Tigers but admitted the draw of free agency was powerful.

“More or less to being able to pick where you play,” Price told CBS Detroit at the time. “It’s kind of like a video game; you create your player and you’re like, ‘All right, I’m going to play for this team.’ That’s always enticing. I guess I’m about a week short of six years right now, so at the end of the year I’ll almost have seven, and I guess that’s 32, 33 starts away from being able to pick where you play.

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“If I got to that point, this would definitely be a place that I could pick to play,” Price continued. “If I didn’t get to that point, I would still be happy. That’s what I want to be. I want to be happy. The money issue is – that’s not the issue. That’s really not. I want to be happy, I want to be comfortable, and using those last two months and then using spring training as well to even get more comfortable here can only be good things.”

Price, who won the Cy Young Award in 2012, has an ERA of 2.97 through 10 starts this season.

Heyman also reported that outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, another player the Tigers would like to retain who will be a free agent following the season, is unlikely to recommit before testing the market.

“No chance Yoenis Cespedes gives up free agency to sign early, say people who know him,” Heyman wrote. “Says an exec from one of his previous teams, ‘He’s a businessman.'”

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Cespedes told CBS Detroit during spring training that he would be open to re-signing with the Tigers.