Red Sox, Angels fail to agree to Mike Napoli trade

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The Red Sox claimed Mike Napoli off waivers from the Angels last week, but a deal was unable to be agreed to prior to the Monday afternoon deadline, WEEI’s Alex Speier reports.
The only real surprise about the turn of events that gave Boston a chance to make an offer for Napoli was that the one of the game’s top offensive catchers made it past eight American League teams on waivers. Of course, it’s doubtful the Mariners could have made a deal for Napoli either, but it wouldn’t have hurt to try.
Napoli, 28, is hitting .249/.317/.478 with 21 homers in 370 at-bats this season. He has a career OPS of 837 since entering the league in 2006, which is nearly a match for Victor Martinez’s 838 mark over the same timeframe, and he’s not going to be eligible for free agency until after the 2012 season.
The Angels probably weren’t inclined to move Napoli now, but they’ll almost certainly deal one of their three catchers this winter and Napoli could be the favorite to go. He’s due a raise to $4.5 million-$5 million in arbitration, and that might be too rich for the Angels, considering how little Mike Scioscia thinks of his defense.

Once again, Cy Young votes from the Tampa Bay chapter were interesting

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In 2016, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello narrowly and controversially eked ahead of then-Tigers starter Justin Verlander in Cy Young Award balloting, winning on points 137 to 132. Verlander was not included at all in the top-five of two ballots, both coincidentally belonging to writers from the Tampa Bay chapter, MLB.com’s Bill Chastain and Fred Goodall of the Associated Press. Verlander had more first-place votes than Porcello, but being left out of the top-five on two ballots was the difference maker.

In the aftermath, Verlander’s then-fiancée Kate Upton fired off some angry tweets, as did Justin’s brother Ben.

Verlander was again in the running for the 2018 AL Cy Young Award. He again finished in second place, this time behind Blake Snell of the Rays. Snell had 17 first-place votes and 169 total points to Verlander’s 13 and 154. There weren’t any ballots that made a big difference like in 2016, but there were two odd ballots from the Tampa Bay chapter again.

If a chapter doesn’t have enough eligible voters, a voter from another chapter is chosen to represent that city. This year, Bill Madden of the New York Daily News was a replacement voter along with Mark Didtler, a freelancer for the Associated Press. Both writers voted for Snell in first place, reasonably. But neither writer put Verlander second, less reasonably, putting Corey Kluber there instead. Madden actually had Verlander fourth behind Athletics reliever Blake Treinen. Didtler had Treinen in fifth place. Two other writers had Verlander in third place: George A. King III of the New York Post and Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. The other 26 had Verlander in first or second place.

Voting Kluber ahead of Verlander doesn’t make any sense, especially we finally live in a world where a pitcher’s win-loss record isn’t valued highly. Kluber had 20 wins to Verlander’s 16 and pitched one more inning. In every other area, Verlander was better. ERA? Verlander led 2.52 to 2.89. Strikeouts? Verlander led 290 to 222. Strikeout rate? Verlander led 34.8% to 26.4%. Opponent batting average? Verlander led .198 to .222. FIP and xFIP? Verlander led both 2.78 and 3.03 to 3.12 and 3.08, respectively. And while Treinen had an excellent year, Verlander pitched 134 more innings, which is significant.

Upton had another tweet for the occasion: