It’s been more than six weeks since right-hander Felix Hernandez closed the Mariners’ season by beating the Los Angeles Angels at Safeco Field and, in the process, winning the American League’s ERA title.
On Wednesday, finally, Hernandez will learn whether he will win the Cy Young Award for the second time in his career. The announcement should come shortly after 3 p.m. on MLB Network.
“To be a finalist for the Cy Young Award is great,” Hernandez said at the time. “That’s what we work for every year, to be one of the best.
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“This recognition is a testament to the hard work that I put in during the offseason, and it is great to be mentioned as one of the best pitchers in the American League.”
Hernandez, 28, finished 15-6 with a 2.14 ERA in 34 starts. Kluber was 18-9 and 2.44 in 34 starts; Sale was 12-4 and 2.17 in 26 starts.
The Cy Young Award, like all BBWAA awards, is determined by a 30-member panel of BBWAA members. Balloting on all awards took place prior to the start of postseason.
Hernandez previously won the award in 2010 and looms as a likely favorite this year after being picked by his peers (Players Choice Awards) and league executives (The Sporting News) as the AL’s top pitcher.
The BBWAA announced its Jackie Robinson Rookies of the Year on Monday: Chicago first baseman Jose Abreu in the American League, New York pitcher Jacob deGrom in the National League.
The managers of the year are to be announced later today; the Cy Young winners on Wednesday; and the Most Valuable Players on Thursday.
CANO GETS TWO HITS
Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano appears to be in mid-season form as a club of Major League players begins its tour of Japan.
Cano went 2-for-3 on Tuesday in helping the MLB club hold on for an 8-7 victory over a combined club of Hanshin Tigers and Yomiuri Giants in Osaka.
Tuesday’s game served as an exhibition tune-up for a five-game series against Japan’s National team, which begins Wednesday in Osaka.
Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma is scheduled to start Friday, when the series shifts to Tokyo for three weekend games. The series concludes next Tuesday in Sapporo.
HOT STOVE RUMBLINGS
Atlanta outfielder Justin Upton no longer has the Mariners on his no-trade list, which sets up an interesting question: Could he be the answer to their ongoing search for a right-handed power hitter?
The Mariners had a four-for-one deal in place for Upton in January 2013 when he played for Arizona. Upton quashed the swap by exercising his no-trade clause and was subsequently traded to the Braves.
That aborted deal would have sent right-handed pitcher Taijuan Walker to the Diamondbacks along with infielder Nick Franklin and relievers Charlie Furbush and Stephen Pryor.
The Mariners no longer have Franklin and Pryor; both were traded last July prior to the no-waiver deadline.
Upton, 27, recently received a Silver Slugger award after batting .270 with 29 homers and 102 RBIs in 154 games. He is under contract through next season at $14.5 million and then become a free agent.
Right-handed reliever Emilio Pagan pitched two scoreless innings Monday for the Carolina in a 6-5 loss at Caguas in the Puerto Rican winter league.
Pagan, 23, has allowed just one earned run and four hits over seven innings in three appearances for Carolina after going 2-3 with 16 saves and a 2.89 ERA in 42 games at Lo-A Clinton.
The Mariners chose Pagan in the 10th round of the 2013 draft.
The Mariners announced the release of six minor-league players: right-handed pitchers Kevin McCoy, Logan Seifrit and Daniel Thieben; catcher Toby Demello; and outfielders Brett Thomas and Travis Witherspoon.
All are now free agents.
*McCoy, 23, was a 24th-round pick in 2013. He was 0-2 with a 4.20 ERA in 18 relief appearances this year for Rookie Peoria and Lo-A Clinton.
*Seifrit, 20, was a 33rd-round pick in 2012. He was 1-4 with a 9.91 ERA in 19 games for Peoria and Short-A Everett.
*Thieben, 21, was signed in 2011 as non-drafted free agent. He was 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA in 18 games at Rookie Pulaski.
*Demello, 24, was a 29th-round pick in 2012. He batted .143 with no homers or RBIs in 49 in 17 games for Everett and Hi-A High Desert.
*Thomas, 22, was a 21st-round pick in 2103. He batted .227 with one homer and 15 RBIs in 55 games for Everett, Pulaski and Clinton.
*Witherspoon, 25, was claimed off waivers in October 2013 from the Los Angeles Angels. He batted .252 with 15 homers and 44 RBIs in 99 games at High Desert.