Cheap Seats

Scherzer deal certainly prices Price out of St. Louis market

The Detroit Tigers, according to a story in the Free Press, plan to make an all-out effort to sign pending free agent David Price to a contract extension now that Max Scherzer has moved on to Washington DC.

I found it interesting that some of the people who panned a potential signing of Scherzer by the St. Louis Cardinals justified their lack of interest by saying they'd rather have Price when he hit the open market in a year.

I wondered just what made them think, if Scherzer was going to be too expensive, that Price would somehow be affordable.

The Cardinals, at least before the Nationals inexplicably nuked the market for Scherzer, had the potential of landing the former Cy Young Award winner because he grew up in St. Louis and dreamed of wearing a Redbirds uniform when he was a kid. It was likely that if the bidding was reasonable and St. Louis could keep things close, the Birds would get the benefit of the doubt because of sentimental reasons.

But Price has no such ties to St. Louis. Some speculated that he's from the Nashville, Tenn. area, so the Cardinals are one of the major league teams closest to his home. But I believe there is more loyalty in the Nashville area these days to the Atlanta Braves than there is to St. Louis. So I don't see any tug on Price's heart strings toward the Gateway to the West.

Worse, it's likely that there will be more big money bidders in the market for top end pitching next year than there were this off-season.

Zack Greinke can opt out of his contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, potentially making a hole in the free spending Bums' rotation -- not to mention their payroll. The New York Yankees somewhat surprisingly decided to sit this winter out. But can they be counted on to show restraint a second year in a row -- especially as they draw closer to the end of Alex Rodriguez's ridiculous contract?

It's really unfortunate that the Nationals decided to make such a reckless offer. I tip my cap to them for being the winning bidder. But, with no obvious competition above the $144-million offer Detroit made before last season, I don't get what compelled them to bid against themselves to the tune of an extra $50-$60 million.

I was shocked to see Scherzer pass the $200 million mark. (I really thought he'd sign for $160.) But now there is little doubt that Price will live in that high rent district, too.

The costs of doing business are only going to keep going up as irresponsible owners