Awards season ends tonight with the coronation of the most valuable players Shohei Ohtani should be in the American League, if everyone keeps proper perspective on the sheer improbability of their existence, and an open-ended question between Juan Soto and Bryce Harper in the National League.
The White Sox won’t feed into this discussion, but they looked like a shot in the Cy Young selection. Robbie Ray beat Gerrit Cole for the top spot, but Lance Lynn took the show position in third place, giving the White Sox their first pitcher on the podium since Chris Sale finished behind Corey Kluber and Felix Hernandez in 2014.
Better still, Carlos RodÃ³n came out of nowhere to finish fifth and improve White Sox history the White Sox way.
And that’s not all. The work of Liam Hendriks as the top reliever of the American League took eighth place with three votes in third place and one vote in fifth place, while Lucas Giolito received only the latter and shared eleventh place with Raisel Iglesias.
(JosÃ© BerrÃos was in ninth place, for those who followed this direct comparison with Giolito for the purpose of renewing their contract.)
In the manager of the year election, Tony La Russa received four votes for second place and three-thirds, which was only enough for sixth place in an American league with a number of compelling stories. AJ Hinch finished seventh with three votes in third place, which sets the table for a more direct head-to-head comparison next year.
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Courtesy of the Always-and-sometimes dependable Bob Nightengale, the White Sox made their first appearance on the hot stove rumor mill this winter with an association with Justin Verlander, more voiced than other forms of initial interest.
The adjustment made some sense, but considering the rumor came up around the same time as the ones connecting Verlander with other teams (Swindler, Braves), it seemed like a leverage trick – especially since Verlander reportedly retained a penchant for a team that spent the spring in Florida.
The rumor died within hours when Verlander’s brother announced that the Houston Astros would keep him. Verlander turned down the $ 18.4 million qualifying offer before signing with the Astros. He’s getting $ 25 million in 2022, with a $ 25 million player option for the same amount.
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Speaking of qualifying offers, Brandon Belt was the only 14-year-old player to accept the terms as he will be returning to the San Francisco Giants for $ 18.4 million. Verlander joins Belt to stay with his current organization, while Eduardo Rodriguez has already signed with the Detroit Tigers and Noah Syndergaard with the Angels.
This leaves 10 players who have opted for the free agency, associated with a draft pick compensation.
- Nick Castellanos,
- Michael Conforto
- Carlos Correa
- Freddie Freeman
- Raisel Iglesias
- Robbie Ray
- Corey Seager
- Marcus Semien
- Trevor story
- Chris Taylor
Seiya Suzuki will also join the free agent pool shortly, since the Hiroshoma Carp plan to post the most interesting man in Nippon Professional Baseball next week. That could only leave a week for a negotiation process before the collective agreement expires and a possible lockout, while the process typically has 30 days to play through. Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic says the leagues are working to freeze Suzuki’s eligibility to play in the event of a transaction stop.
(Photo by Mike Dinovo / USA TODAY Sports)