First-third awards – AL Cy Young

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Yeah, it’s a no-brainer, but let’s look at a few lists anyway.

Top 10 in ERA

1. Zack Greinke – 1.10 in 82 IP
2. Jered Weaver – 2.26 in 75 2/3 IP
3. Edwin Jackson – 2.30 in 74 1/3 IP
4. Erik Bedard – 2.37 in 60 2/3 IP
5. Roy Halladay – 2.77 in 91 IP
6. Mark Buehrle – 2.91 in 74 1/3 IP
7. Cliff Lee – 2.96 in 82 IP
8. Josh Outman – 3.02 in 53 2/3 IP
9. Jarrod Washburn – 3.22 in 64 1/3 IP
10. Kevin Millwood – 3.23 in 78 IP

Halladay and Lee are the only pitchers here that have made 12 starts so
far. The rest are at 10 or 11, except for Outman at nine.

Top 10 in VORP

1. Zack Greinke – 43.4
2. Roy Halladay – 31.3
3. Jered Weaver – 31.3
4. Cliff Lee – 28.5
5. Mark Buehrle – 25.7
6. Edwin Jackson – 25.4
7. Kevin Millwood – 23.0
8. Erik Bedard – 22.3
9. CC Sabathia – 21.1
10. James Shields – 20.8

Halladay’s innings count boosts him here. Jackson, who has given up
more unearned runs than any of the contenders (six), falls back a bit.

Top 10 in FIP

1. Zack Greinke – 1.57
2. Justin Verlander – 2.31
3. Roy Halladay – 2.76
4. Cliff Lee – 3.13
5. Felix Hernandez – 3.28
6. Edwin Jackson – 3.31
7. Gil Meche – 3.35
8. CC Sabathia – 3.51
9. Erik Bedard – 3.56
10. Jered Weaver – 3.57

Verlander soars once one tries to separate defense from pitching.
I’m not sure I buy it, though: he really was that bad at the start of
the season. Of course, he’s been right there with Greinke as the AL’s
best pitcher over the last five weeks.

By virtue of that innings total, I think Halladay is pretty
comfortably in second place right now. Third is a tougher call, with
Weaver and Lee having the best cases. I’m giving the edge to Weaver,
mostly because he’s had a somewhat more difficult schedule.

First-third AL Cy Young

1. Greinke
2. Halladay
3. Weaver

Doesn’t anyone want to sign Edwin Encarnacion?

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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OXON HILL, MD — Edwin Encarnacion began the offseason as, arguably, the second most desirable free agent on the market. As the Winter Meetings approach their end, however, he is a man without a team. And may not have a team any time soon.

Many teams have been rumored to be checking in on Encarnacion, but the defining trait of his free agency thus far has been clubs taking a pass. The most recent one being the Rangers, who are reported to simply not have the money to sign him, despite him filling a clear offensive need in Texas. Maybe the Rangers would be more competitive on the free agent market if they had a new stadium. Who knows?

The Blue Jays, for whom he most recently played, offered him a four-year, $80 million deal that most figured was a lowball, and when he rejected it, they moved on to Kendrys Morales. The Red Sox acquired Mitch Moreland. The Yankees are reported to be passing. The most recent team linked to Encarnacion is the Indians, who are reported to have an offer out to him, but at this point it’s likely far lower than what most free agent watchers thought he might get a few weeks ago. A four-year, $90 million deal did not seem crazy for him in October. In December, there is speculation that he could be had for $60 million over that same term which, frankly, would be a bargain. That’s less than Mark Melancon, the third best closer on the market, got from the Giants.

There have been a lot of remarkable things that have happened in the past few weeks, but one of the most unexpected things would be one of the top bats in the game getting second-tier closer money.

Late Athletics broadcaster Bill King wins the Ford C. Frick Award

bill-king
CSN Bay Area
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OXON HILL, MD — Bill King has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

King, one of the iconic voices of Bay Area sports, was known for his handlebar mustache and his signature “Holy Toledo!” exclamation. King broadcast A’s games for 25 seasons, from 1981 through 2005. He likewise broadcast Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games and got his start as an announcer for the Giants in the late 1950s after they moved to San Francisco.

King passed away in October 2005. With the Frick Award, however, he has now been immortalized among baseball broadcasters.