Max Scherzer has been awarded his second Cy Young Award of his career, and it wasn’t nearly as close as I, and a lot of others, thought it was going to be. Scherzer ended up with 25 of the possible 30 first place votes. Jon Lester finished in second place with one first place vote and Kyle Hendricks came in third in the voting and finished with two first place votes.
Hendricks far and away exceeded expectations, more than any pitcher in the league, in 2016. He came into the season as the number five pitcher on an ultra-talented Cubs’ pitching staff and he finished as the number two pitcher, surpassing last year’s Cy Young Award winner, Jake Arrieta, on the postseason rotation.
The Cubs acquired Kyle Hendricks from the Texas Rangers in July of 2012 when he was included, along with infielder Christian Villanueva, in a trade that sent Ryan Dempster to the Rangers. Hendricks was first called up from the minors by the Cubs in July 2014 and he has a career 2.92 ERA in the regular season. He will remain under team control until he becomes a free agent in 2021.
In contrast to Hendricks, Jon Lester is a grizzled veteran who’s been in the league since 2007 with a career 3.44 ERA which includes a career best 2.44 ERA in 2016. Lester signed with the Chicago Cubs as a free agent in December of 2014 and was largely seen as one of the final pieces needed to get the Cubs to the postseason and to be able to compete for a World Series Championship. Jon signed a six-year deal with the Cubs that has a vesting option for the 2021 season.
Here’s the final BBWAA voting tally for the NL Cy Young Award:
|Max Scherzer, Nationals||25||3||1||1||192|
|Jon Lester, Cubs||1||16||9||2||102|
|Kyle Hendricks, Cubs||2||7||8||7||5||85|
|Madison Bumgarner, Giants||2||6||7||6||46|
|Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers||2||1||5||3||30|
|Johnny Cueto, Giants||3||3||4||19|
|Jose Fernandez, Marlins||1||1||1||9||18|
|Noah Syndergard, Mets||1||1||3||2||15|
|Jake Arrieta, Cubs||1||2|
|Tanner Roark, Nationals||1||1|
Congratulations go out to both Kyle Hendricks and Jon Lester on exceptional years and, let’s not forget, a World Series Championship!