It’s unanimous: Roy Halladay wins the NL Cy Young Award

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What, you were expecting Oliver Perez?

This was a no-brainer, and there was very little dissent in the ranks:  Roy Halladay received all 32 of the first place votes, easily beating out Adam Wainwright, Ubaldo Jimenez, Tim Hudson and Josh Johnson, who finished in second through fifth place.

When the Phillies traded for him last winter the expectation was that Halladay would thrive upon moving to the weaker National League, and those expectations were met:  He thew a perfect game on May 29th, and led the league in wins (21), complete games (9), shutouts (4), innings (250.2) while issuing the fewest walks per nine innings (1.1) and leading the NL in strikeout-to-walk ratio (7.30).  He was among the leaders in ERA (2.44, third) and strikeouts (219, second) as well. And of course, the threw a no-hitter in Game One of the NLDS, though that wasn’t reflected in the voting here due to the regular season vote-submission deadline. If that had been included there would have been loose talk of renaming the award after him.

In a career filled with fantastic performances, Halladay’s 2010 was his finest season as a professional.  And there’s no reason to suspect that he won’t continue his humiliation of National League hitters when 2011 begins. Congratulations, Doc.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is still locked up, thanks to a team option that will almost certainly be exercised, through 2020, and Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.