Twins join Cubs in hunt for reliever Jason Frasor

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Earlier this week the Cubs were said to be interested in Jason Frasor, and now the Twins have reportedly joined the mix for the Blue Jays’ reliever following news that Joe Nathan likely needs season-ending Tommy John surgery.
Frasor is a solid reliever coming off a career-year, but prior to posting a 2.50 ERA in 2009 he had ERAs of 4.32, 4.58, and 4.18 in the previous three seasons and his career xFIP is 4.05. He’s been talked about as a potential replacement for Nathan because he spent part of last season closing for Toronto, but based on ability rather than save totals he’s really more a setup man and the Twins have plenty of similar in-house options already.
Frasor is an impending free agent and affordable at just $2.65 million, so if the Blue Jays aren’t looking for much in return he’d be a solid addition for the Cubs or Twins. However, because he’s likely to qualify as a Type B free agent and could even jump into Type A status with a good 2010 the Blue Jays may be inclined to ask for at least as much value as a supplemental draft pick.

Justin Verlander named 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner

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Astros starter Justin Verlander was voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the 2019 American League Cy Young Award winner. Teammate Gerrit Cole finished in a close second place at 159 points. Charlie Morton finished third at 75 points, Shane Bieber fourth at 64, Lance Lynn fifth at 18, Eduardo Rodríguez and Lucas Giolito sixth at eight, and Mike Minor eighth at seven.

Verlander, 36, won the AL Cy Young Award (and AL MVP Award) in 2011 with the Tigers). He and Cole became the first pair of teammates to finish first and second on the ballot for the AL Cy Young Award. Four NL teammates accomplished the feat: Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling in 2001 and ’02, Don Newcomb and Sal Maglie in 1956, and Mike Marshall and Andy Messersmith in 1974.

During the regular season, Verlander led all starting pitchers in wins (21), games started (34), innings pitched (223), and WHIP (0.803). He also compiled a 2.58 ERA with a 300/42 K/BB ratio. Along with a 300-strikeout season, Verlander achieved other milestones, including reaching 3,000 strikeouts for his career and 200 career postseason strikeouts (an all-time record).

2019 was not without controversy for Verlander, a future Hall of Famer, as he had a well-publicized disagreement with Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press. He tried to have Fenech barred from the clubhouse during media availability despite the collective bargaining agreement ensuring access to BBWAA-credentialed reporters. It was one of many Astros-related scandals in 2019.

Verlander is the first Astro to win the Cy Young Award since Dallas Keuchel in 2015. Roger Clemens (2004) and Mike Scott (1986) also won the award back when the Astros were in the National League.