Max Scherzer won’t talk about his next contract. He doesn’t want to negotiate through the media, which is crazy, because everyone knows the best way to improve your life is to discuss it publicly.

What Scherzer has said is that he digs Detroit, he wouldn’t mind remaining a Tiger, and that he’s cool with hashing out a new deal — privately, of course —until Opening Day.

Then, he’s done.

Here’s my question: Will the Tigers be, too?

If they want his services beyond this season, and clearly they do, then president and general manager Dave Dombrowski and ownership have a decision to make.

They know Scherzer likely will demand a contract that rivals teammate Justin Verlander’s, a tidy $180 million guaranteed over seven years.

They also know the Dodgers just agreed to pay Clayton Kershaw $215 million over seven years.

Couple of thoughts: 1) Verlander was the same age when he re-signed with the Tigers that Scherzer is now, though he was two years from free agency while Scherzer is one. 2) Kershaw is four years younger than Scherzer.

Age and relation to free agency are part of the equation. Another is history.

Scherzer is nearly as talented as Verlander and Kershaw. He has not been as consistent.

Last season was the first time Scherzer harnessed that 98-m.p.h., late-moving fastball. The combination of that dipsy-do heater, an off-the-shelf slider and a deceptive change-up made him unhittable at times.

Baseball folks had seen that potential for years, but until last season, never saw it consistently. His delivery and movement had too many moving pieces.

When he finally quieted that down, he won the Cy Young Award. Now he wants another.

Scherzer started Friday for the first time this spring. He pitched two innings and gave up one hit — a home run.

After the game, he talked about how good his arm felt, about how surprised he was to have command of four pitches so soon.

“It’s nice that I’m in a good spot right now,” he said. “You can come out here and walk the house.”

Early outings in spring training are a crapshoot for pitchers. Amping up the arm is a process.

Few pitchers study the process more than Scherzer. He long has understood how to get his arm ready. This season, he understands how to get himself ready.

Scherzer entered camp in 2013 reworking his delivery. He’d spent the off-season in search of an economical motion that would uncork that natural talent. This past off-season, he didn’t have to worry about that.

He knows how to fix himself now.

Pitching coach Jeff Jones said this was the most crucial thing Scherzer discovered last year.

“In the past years, his delivery would be solid (for a while), then get out of whack,” Jones said. “Last year, very rarely did it get out of whack. And when it did, he was able to fix it.”

That ability should earn Scherzer an extraordinary amount of money at some point.

Yes, he wasn’t the transcendent young talent that Kershaw and Verlander were. It has taken him longer to join them. But he belongs.

So what is that worth?

I’d bet a whole lot more at the end of this year. Scherzer’s greatest strength — besides that fastball — is his brain. He analyzes and works and never stops.