In the wake of yesterday’s deadlines, here are three things to keep an eye on throughout the baseball world today:
1. Cy Young Award Results Announced Tonight
Awards season continues tonight with the AL and NL Cy Young awards being announced this evening. In the AL, Justin Verlander, Dylan Cease, and Alek Manoah are the finalists. Verlander led all of baseball with an ERA of just 1.75 this year and stands as the likely favorite over Cease and Manoah, despite their own impressive seasons. One thing Cease and Manoah have going for them is volume: Both made more than 30 starts in 2022, while Verlander made just 28. Over in the NL, Sandy Alcantara, Max Fried, and Julio Urias are the three finalists. Alcantara is the clear favorite here after pitching a whopping 228 2/3 innings in 2022, pacing all of baseball by more than 20 innings. Alcantara’s season wasn’t just about volume, however; he was also dominant, posting a 2.28 ERA and 2.99 FIP on the year. Urias posted a lower ERA than Alcantara, leading the NL with a 2.16 mark (though his 3.71 FIP tells a somewhat different story), while Fried beats out Alcantara in terms of FIP with a 2.70. Neither one managed to beat Alcantara in both categories, though, and both trail him by more than 40 innings pitched in 2022.
2. MLBTR’s Free Agent Prediction Contest Submissions Close Tonight
Today is the last day you can sign up for the MLB Trade Rumors Free Agent Prediction Contest. For this contest, you’ll predict where our Top 50 Free Agents will go, with cash prizes awarded to the top three finishers and a one year membership to Trade Rumors Front Office available to everyone who finishes in the Top 15. Much of the MLBTR staff also participates, so you can see how your predictions stack up compared to those of our writers!
3. Anderson, Martinez Deals Signal Movement On The Starting Pitching Market
Yesterday’s qualifying offer deadline spurred movement on the starting pitching market, as Martin Perez accepted the QO from the Rangers, re-upping with them on the one year, $19.65MM deal. Tyler Anderson, meanwhile, agreed to a three-year, $39MM deal with the Angels in lieu of accepting the QO from the Dodgers. This move came as something of a surprise; Anderson was predicted to accept the QO by the MLBTR team along with Perez and Joc Pederson, both of whom did so. That Anderson earned a $39MM guarantee may indicate that the strong market relievers have found this offseason could extend to starters, though early deals have a tendency to be strong, and that momentum doesn’t always carry throughout the winter. Nick Martinez, meanwhile, secured a three-year deal with the Padres that’ll guarantee him a reported $26MM — comfortably outpacing the three years and $18MM from which he opted out. As for other implications across the market, the Dodgers are perhaps likelier to be in search of another arm to replace Anderson in the rotation. The Padres could yet be open to adding some rotation depth, though Martinez gives them a solid one through four on which to rely (assuming he’s indeed ticketed for the rotation). The Rangers aren’t expected to stop after retaining Perez at a premium rate; they’ll remain active players in the rotation market.