The Detroit Tigers and Max Scherzer avoided arbitration last week, but there's likely no getting around the monster payday coming for the AL Cy Young winner.

While Scherzer is unlikely to approach the record deal Clayton Kershaw received from the Los Angeles Dodgers (seven years, $215 million), he'll be the top pitching target on the market if he makes it to free agency next offseason.

James Shields, Jon Lester, Justin Masterson and Homer Bailey are other names mentioned by ESPN.com's Jim Bowden, but Scherzer tops them all in terms of potential free agents.