The American Cy Young award winner has been announced, and unfortunately, Alek Manoah didn’t win.
The 24-year-old Manoah had a fantastic season, registering a 2.24 ERA and 3.35 FIP in 196.2 innings pitched. While his K% dropped from 27.7% in 2021 to 22.9% in 2022, the Big Puma undoubtedly established himself as the Blue Jays ace.
For the next two seasons, the righty will make the league minimum, before his first year of arbitration after the 2024 season. Unless he is signed to a long-term deal beforehand (which is very possible), Manoah will become a free agent after the 2027 season.
Despite the excellent season, Manoah finished third in Cy Young voting, finishing with 13 votes for third place and seven votes for second. He also had 10 votes for fourth place but barely finished ahead of Shohei Ohtani.
Chicago White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease finished in second place, while the Houston Astros’ Justin Verland finished in first.
Verlander won unanimously, taking all 30 first-place votes. Without any bias, it was well deserved as he had a 1.75 ERA and 2.49 FIP in 175 innings pitched with the eventual World Series winners. He also had a pretty impressive 27.8 K% and a 4.4 BB%, which is even more impressive considering that Verlander will turn 40 years old in February.
Per Astros beat reporter Brian McTaggart, the veteran pitcher is looking for a contract similar to Max Scherzer’s 3-year, $130 million deal. Scherzer, who is similar in age, signed that deal which carried an annual average of $43,333,333 with a player option for the 2024 season.
While the Blue Jays were interested in Verlander before the start of the 2022 season, it’s not unfair to assume that Verlander’s ask will be too much for the Blue Jays to consider. Even if he was the best pitcher in the American League in 2022.
Over on the National League side, Miami Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara also won the NL Cy Young award unanimously. The 27-year-old Marlin finished with a 2.28 ERA and 2.99 FIP in an incredible 228.2 innings pitched. He also had six complete games, which hasn’t happened since 2016.
Pitching an entire game is rare, as the last player with more complete games than Alcantara dated back to 2011 when the late-great Roy Halliday pitched eight complete games, and James Shielder pitched 11.
Kevin Gausman finished in 10th place in Cy Young award voting. The 31-year-old finished with a 3.35 ERA and 2.38 FIP in 174.2 innings pitched.
While Manoah didn’t win the Cy Young award this season, I have a sneaking suspicion that he’ll win quite a few in his career at some point. Either way, it was a fantastic season for the 24-year-old.
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D.