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Odds against Tigers re-signing Scherzer

In MLB Network Radio interview, GM downplays shot of keeping righty, trading lefty Price
MLB.com @beckjason

DETROIT -- Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski tried to downplay the possibility of re-signing Max Scherzer and flipping David Price in an interview with MLB Network Radio on Friday afternoon.

"It is a possibility? I guess anything's a possibility," Dombrowski told Casey Stern and former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden on "Inside Pitch" when asked about the possibility of a Scherzer return.

DETROIT -- Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski tried to downplay the possibility of re-signing Max Scherzer and flipping David Price in an interview with MLB Network Radio on Friday afternoon.

"It is a possibility? I guess anything's a possibility," Dombrowski told Casey Stern and former Reds and Nationals general manager Jim Bowden on "Inside Pitch" when asked about the possibility of a Scherzer return.

Asked a follow-up question, however, Dombrowski reiterated what he said in October, that the Tigers' best chance to sign Scherzer was last spring. Detroit made a six-year, $144 million offer in March. Scherzer declined in favor of testing the market.

"I think our odds were better last spring, when we were the only club able to negotiate with him," Dombrowski said Friday. "I don't know how your odds get better. Is there any chance? Sure, but I think it's one we're not counting on at this point."

Dombrowski said at Victor Martinez's news conference a week ago that he did not know what the Tigers' chances were at re-signing Scherzer. A couple of days later, Scherzer's agent, Scott Boras, told MLB Network Radio he had heard nothing from the Tigers' front office or anyone else that would suggest Detroit is out on Scherzer.

Meanwhile, the apparent willingness of the Tigers to listen to trade interest on Price raised speculation Detroit could retain Scherzer and move the lefty, who's eligible for free agency next offseason, along with Rick Porcello.

"We're not looking to trade [Price], by any means," Dombrowski said. "You don't say you're not going to trade anybody, because you never know when somebody's going to knock on your door [with an unbelievable offer]. ... But it's a situation where we like him here a great deal and we're open-minded to him being here a long time."

The Tigers and Price's agent, Bo McKinnis, have not embarked on efforts for a long-term extension yet, Dombrowski said. They probably won't until later in the offseason, after free-agent signings have given a better idea of the going rate for pitchers on the open market.

"We'll see what happens," Dombrowski said, "but we're definitely counting on him being in our rotation at the beginning of the year."

Dombrowski has rarely called a player untradeable. Sometimes, he allows for the possibility of an incredible offer. Other times, he draws a distinction between listening on trade interest and looking to trade a player.

"I don't think you go in and say someone's untouchable," Dombrowski said a few offseasons ago. "When you start doing that, you end up not making many trades. ... They always used to say, if Barry Bonds is the best player in baseball at that time, and somebody offered you two Barry Bondses, you'd make the trade. And that's just the way it is. So I think you keep an open mind. Those things don't happen very often, but I think we keep open minds to just about anything."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.

Detroit Tigers, David Price, Max Scherzer