BBWAA changes Cy Young ballot, adds Forman

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This afternoon the Baseball Writers Association of America got together to vote on various issues and the meeting produced a couple interesting pieces of news.
First and foremost they voted to expand the Cy Young ballot from three spots to five spots, which is no doubt in response to the uproar caused by two writers leaving Chris Carpenter off their ballots last month. My suggestion is that the change should forever be known as the Keith Law Law.
And after adding several internet-based writers last year for the first time, the BBWAA will now open its doors for Sean Forman. You may not recognize that name, but Forman is the man behind the most indespensible, invaluable baseball website in the world (besides this one, of course): Baseball-Reference.com. He’s done a tremendous amount of work to advance both the history of baseball and the availability of statistics, and also happens to be one hell of a nice guy.

Padres may have more interest in Dallas Keuchel than Bryce Harper

Dallas Keuchel
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An interesting tidbit today from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, who noted that ongoing talks between agent Scott Boras and the Padres have focused more on starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel than slugger Bryce Harper. Earlier this week, there were conflicting reports on the Padres’ level of interest in Harper — MLB Network’s Jon Heyman heard the club had not ruled out another big signing after getting Manny Machado, while Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune talked to multiple sources who believed otherwise — but any agreement between the two is looking unlikelier by the day.

As for Keuchel, Rosenthal cautions that a potential deal is still a “longshot,” especially as the team has other, cheaper options in mind. The 31-year-old southpaw turned down a qualifying offer from the Astros last year and is likely angling for something north of the five-year, $90 million contract extension he rejected from the club in 2016. He’s coming off of another solid performance in Houston, where he went 12-11 in 34 starts with a 3.74 ERA, 2.6 BB/9, 6.7 SO/9, and 3.6 fWAR through 204 2/3 innings in 2018.

While Keuchel has failed to garner substantial interest around the league this offseason, Heyman points out that the Phillies are looking to establish themselves as frontrunners for the lefty — and they’re far less likely to have hang-ups about his asking price, too.