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Giants sign Alen Hanson

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Free agent infielder/outfielder Alen Hanson has reportedly agreed to a deal with the Giants, via Hanson’s personal announcement on his Instagram account. The signing has yet to be officially announced by the club.

Hanson, 25, split his sophomore season between the Pirates and White Sox in 2017. Through 234 plate appearances, he slashed a combined .221/.262/.346 with four home runs, 11 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 14 attempts. On the field, he spent most of his time at second base and the outfield corners, though he also logged several starts at third base, short, center field and DH.

According to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area, the Giants are still searching far and wide for that elusive outfielder/slugger combo. They’re said to be in the mix for center fielder Billy Hamilton, but any potential deal has been stalled due to the Reds’ high asking price. Until then, Hanson could provide some speed and defensive depth in the corners, albeit with a bat that runs a little cooler than the Giants would prefer.

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.