The Detroit Tigers have never had a player go into arbitration since Dave Dombrowski became the general manager in 2002, and they shouldn’t start with Max Scherzer.

According to’s Jon Heyman, Scherzer, the Tigers’ 28-year-old No. 2 starter, requested $7.4 million for 2013, which was $1.35 million more than Dombrowski wanted to offer him.

But the Tigers should give the right-hander everything he’s asking for, and probably more.

Scherzer had the best season of his five-year career in 2012, posting a 16-7 record with a 3.74 ERA and 231 strikeouts in 187 2/3 innings.

His 231 strikeouts were good for second-best in the Major Leagues, only behind teammate Justin Verlander.

Last week, the two sides met to discuss what they thought Scherzer‘s 2013 contract is worth, but failed to find common ground.

Unless Scherzer and the Tigers come to an agreement in the next month, an arbitrator will be asked to decide for them, between the $7.4 million Scherzer is asking for, and the $6.05 million the Tigers are offering.

Because the Tigers haven’t gone as far an as arbitrator in over 10 years, they will most likely reach an agreement somewhere in the middle of what the two sides are proposing, but the Tigers should have more faith in Scherzer and give him what he’s asking for.

Because he’s worth it.

Scherzer only made $3.75 million last season after recording the second-most strikeouts and the sixth-most wins the American League.

The Tigers already gave Anibal Sanchez, who went 9-13 with a 3.86 ERA last season, including 4-6 and 3.74 in 12 starts with Detroit, a contract worth $16 million per year for the next five years, so why not give Scherzer more money?

Not only did Scherzer have the year of his life during the 2012 regular season, but he elevated his game in the playoffs.

In three postseason appearances a year ago, Scherzer posted a 1-0 record with a 2.08 ERA, 26 strikeouts compared to only four walks in 17 1/3 innings.

He rebounded from injury and personal tragedy to become the second member of the Tigers’ dangerous 1-2 punch behind Verlander, and he should be rewarded for doing so.

The Tigers are giving Sanchez $16 million a year. Scherzer isn’t even asking for half of that.

Owner Mike Illitch, Dombrowski and the Tigers need to pony up the dough.

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