Chris Sale was not among the finalists for the American League Cy Young, which is a bummer, but not entirely surprising. Rick Porcello, Corey Kluber and Justin Verlander are the ones being openly considered for the award that’s already been decided, and you can formulate an argument for any of them over Sale. Porcello won the traditional race by going 22-4 with a similar ERA over similar innings, and when it comes to advanced metrics, it’s a toss-up among the AL Central stars.
|1. Verlander (6.6)||1. Porcello (5.2)||1. Sale (6.95)|
|2. Kluber (6.5)||1. Verlander (5.2)||2. Verlander (6.81)|
|5. Porcello (5.0)||1. Sale (5.2)||5. Kluber (5.90)|
|7. Sale (4.9)||4. Kluber (5.1)||8. Porcello (4.89)|
Baseball Prospectus’ numbers indicate that Sale probably could have run away with this award if he wasn’t kneecapped by his own catchers. Alas, he’s on the outside looking in, along with Zach Britton, whose agent is whining about it.
Scott Boras,Britton's agent, on Cy snub: "Baseball writers have now excluded closers from winning the Cy. Ridiculous."— Dan Connolly (@danconnolly2016) November 8, 2016
Buck Showalter said Britton’s absence "takes away a lot of the credibility" of the award. Showalter, of course, was the guy who found six relievers to use in an elimination game instead of Britton, and you’d think that wouldn’t be the case if Britton were so vital. That kind of strictly defined usage is why a lot of people have a hard time taking closers seriously as Cy Young candidates — they can’t affect the game unless their teammates have made conditions just right for them.
Showalter’s negligence was so egrocious that he inspired an overreaction in the opposite direction during the postseason to follow, with star relievers pushed to their breaking points in non-save situations. Now, should the extended usage of Andrew Miller, Cody Allen, Kenley Jansen, Aroldis Chapman and other shutdown types bleed into the regular season, closers might be able to make a bigger, more regular dent with arguments more difficult to dismiss.
While the Condor didn't make the cut, Hawk Harrelson did in his field. He's one of eight finalists for the Ford C. Frick Award, and it seems like he's destined to win it one of these years.
- 2016-17 Top 50 MLB Free Agents With Predictions - MLB Trade Rumors
- Top MLB free agents: Cespedes, Fowler highlight a lackluster class - ESPN
- MLB free-agent rankings: Picking winter's top 50 - SI.com
Free agency began after midnight, and here are your various power lists. MLB Trade Rumors predicts Jason Castro to go to the White Sox like oh so many offseason plans, along with Carlos Beltran and Boone Logan. The market is rich in outfield bats and respectable catchers and poor everywhere else, especially when it comes to starting pitching, which is why ...
... Dave Cameron calls the White Sox "the team that will run the winter." There’s really nothing to argue about with this post. He sums up the position well — if the White Sox trade Chris Sale and Jose Quintana, then they may as well trade Nate Jones, Adam Eaton, Jose Abreu and David Robertson, too. That’s how you get a farm system that doesn’t rely on pristine linear development to build an actual pipeline.
Another sign of the weak market — only 10 players received qualifying offers, a drop from 20 the year before. A few players are on the cusp, and Ian Desmond is yet again one of them since he posted a .630 OPS in the second half. The players have one week to accept or reject the offers.
The writing was on the wall for Matt Thornton, who posted a 5.82 ERA and struck out just nine batters over 17 innings with the Padres last year. He’s hanging it up at the age of 40 with 748 games under his belt, 512 of which came in relief for the White Sox, a franchise record. His list of most-faced batters tells the story of AL Central battles won and lost: Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Curtis Granderson, Travis Hafner, Grady Sizemore, Shin-Soo Choo, Victor Martinez. Happy trails.
The writing was on the wall for A.J. Pierzynski, who hit .219/.243/.304 and lost the starting job to Tyler Flowers in Atlanta. He went on the DL in September after a celebration that seemed to foreshadow a retirement announcement, but it wouldn't be pest-like if he simply faded away.