Why Max Scherzer was more than comfortable walking away from $144 million

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Prior to the 2014 Major League Baseball season, Max Scherzer turned down an offer from the Detroit Tigers that would have paid him $144 million over six years. When he turned down that amount of money, many thought he had lost his mind. What if he were to get injured? Well, it soon came to light that Scherzer had taken out an insurance policy that would cover lost potential future earnings if he were to get injured before becoming a free agent. On Saturday, Scherzer did an interview with Fox Sports where he revealed the details of the policy.

According to Scherzer, the insurance policy would have given him $40 million tax free if he were to sustain an injury that would cause him to sign a contract for less that the original offer from the Tigers. He made sure the policy covered any type of injury he could have possibly had, including Tommy John surgery . He also revealed that the policy itself cost him $750,000.

No wonder the former Cy Young winner was able to go out and pitch the entire 2014 season without any worries whatsoever. He knew regardless of what happened, he was in a good position and his future was set.

“Once you took the injury-risk factor out of it, and you can just go play baseball and not have to worry about anything . . . I was set,” said Scherzer. “When you combine that with the fact that I’ve already made some money in my career, you’re talking $50-plus million in the bank, I think I’m going to be fine.”

Scherzer also believed in himself and believed he would continue to improve as a pitcher so he was willing to bet on himself and his abilities. He went through the 2014 season with that mindset and it worked to perfection.

“I thought, ‘The way I’m pitching right now, the way I’m continuing to get better, I’m going to bet on myself. I believe I’m going to get better as a pitcher. I’m not afraid of failure at this point.’ ”

Following the 2014 season Scherzer knew he would have to be patient in regards to signing a new deal. He was prepared to sit back and listen to offers until he was confident he had the best one sitting on the table.

“If that meant going deep into March, I was willing to do that. But it all worked out. I was never afraid of the process. I realized I was going to be pitching for a team in 2015. That was just the way it was going to be.”

Scherzer admits he took the biggest offer, but that was only part of what helped him make his final decision. It was also very important to him that he was part of a team that had a chance to win, and win big.

“Yeah, I took the biggest offer, but it wasn’t just because it was the biggest offer. It was because this team and this organization was also a great fit for me as well. It was going to be tough for another team to beat this type of offer.

Regardless of how you may feel about how the situation with Scherzer played out, you have to admit he was right to bet on himself. It seems like the days of players sticking with the same team for 15 years are all but over. This may be tough for fans to accept, but sports are a business, and businesses are about making money.

(Image Via: CBS Sports/USATS)