Corey Kluber edges Felix Hernandez for the 2014 American League Cy Young Award

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Indians right-hander Corey Kluber has been named the 2014 American League Cy Young Award winner by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He received 17 of the 30 first-place votes. Mariners ace Felix Hernandez received the other 13 and finished second. White Sox lefty Chris Sale came in third.

Kluber was only a mediocre pitcher in 2013 but established himself as a bona fide ace this past year, posting a stellar 2.44 ERA (152 ERA+), 1.095 WHIP, and 269 strikeouts across 235 2/3 innings. Felix had a better ERA (2.14) and WHIP (0.915), but voters are looking beyond traditional statistics these days. And hallelujah to that.

Kluber is the fourth pitcher in Indians franchise history to win the American League Cy Young Award, joining Gaylord Perry (1972), CC Sabathia (2007), and Cliff Lee (2008). The 28-year-old won’t become arbitration-eligible until 2016, so Cleveland should have him on board for at least four more seasons.

Yasiel Puig is still a free agent

Yasiel Puig
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Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.

There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.

The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.