The results have been released and Alexander Mendoza was right: Felix Hernandez has won the 2010 American League Cy Young Award. He beat out David Price, who finished second, and CC Sabathia who took third. Jon Lester and Jered Weaver rounded out the top five. Ultimately — and as I predicted — the voting wasn’t that close: King Felix won fairly easily, taking 21 of the 28 first place votes. The most scandalous thing I’ve seen so far is that David Price was left off a ballot. Given that voters were voting for the top five, that’s a tad curious, though maybe not to backers of Hernandez, Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Jered Weaver and Jon Lester.
For the second year in a row, the Baseball Writers Association of America gave the award to the better pitcher, not the pitcher with a bigger win total. For as much vitriol as has been thrown at the BBWAA in the past, they should be lauded here for a job well done. And we should probably acknowledge at this point that, in the run up to the awards, the “old school” writers who say things contrary to the prevalent sabermetric thinking likely aren’t all that representative of the BBWAA voting pool in the first place. These arguments we have, I’m beginning to realize, are between the wrong people. Even if they are highly enjoyable.
In a nice change from usual practice, the BBWAA has listed which writers voted for which players for first place. For those of you who must have blood from any who dare oppose the King Felix orthordoxy, know that Mel Antonen, Tony Fabrizio, Phil Rogers and Chris Assenheimer voted Price for first place. George King, Bob Elliott and Sheldon Ocker had Sabathia first.
Congratulations, King Felix.
The Red Sox have more or less withdrawn from the Edwin Encarnacion sweepstakes, with Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald noting that much of their reluctance hinges on the likelihood that they’d exceed the new $195 million luxury tax threshold by locking the DH into a lucrative deal. That doesn’t leave them without options, however, and FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported that the club could be interested in 29-year-old corner infielder Pedro Alvarez, as well as fellow free agents Mike Napoli and Matt Holliday.
After playing just 10 games at DH from 2010 to 2015, Alvarez suited up as the Orioles’ primary designated hitter and part-time third baseman in 2016. His defense is sub-par, to say the least, but he batted .249/.322/.504 with 22 home runs for Baltimore in 2016.
According to Heyman, the Red Sox envision using Alvarez in much the same way the Orioles did. He’d have a place as the team’s DH with the occasional infield start, while Hanley Ramirez would keep his post at first base. Whether the Red Sox make offers to Napoli, Holliday or Alvarez, they’re expected to pursue a short-term deal in order to stay under budget.
The Braves signed left-handed reliever Jacob Lindgren to a one-year deal, according to a team announcement on Sunday.
Lindgren, the Yankees’ top draft pick in 2014, was nicknamed “The Strikeout Factory” after blowing through four levels of New York’s farm system in 2014. He started the 2015 season in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and was called up for his major league debut only two months into the 2015 season. The 22-year-old lasted seven innings with the club before succumbing to bone chips in his elbow, and underwent bone spur surgery in June before trying his luck again during spring training in 2016.
In August, the Yankees shut Lindgren down for the remainder of the season so the lefty could undergo Tommy John surgery. With a projected return date of 2018, Lindgren was non-tendered by the Yankees on Friday.
While the Braves won’t get the benefit of Lindgren’s top prospect skill set in their bullpen anytime soon, he will remain under club control if they keep him on their 40-man roster beyond the 2017 season (per ESPN’s Keith Law).