Image Credit: Boston Herald
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to reporters during a news conference at Major League Baseball headquarters in New York, Thursday, May 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

MLB Weekly Digest November 19th Edition

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The last week in MLB was about the commissioner signing an extension, MLB finalizing a new broadcast deal and the announcement of awards in both leagues for Cy Young and MVP.

MLB Extends Commissioner Rob Manfred Through 2024

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred will keep his current job for several years.

MLB owners voted a couple of days ago to approve a five-year extension for commissioner Manfred as his contract was set to expire following the conclusion of the 2019 season.

Manfred will supervise the next round of the collective bargaining with the MLBPA. The current CBA will expire at the end of the 2021 campaign.

Manfred was the successor to Bud Selig as he became the commissioner before the 2015 season.

Some of his accomplishments include instituting new pace of play rules, negotiating a new CBA with the players’ union before the 2016 season, putting a cap on spending for international free agents and stricter penalties for teams who exceed the luxury tax.

The extension of Manfred was a smart move by the owners as he’s done a solid job as the commissioner for baseball.

It’s possible that when the current CBA expires, Manfred will try to get the players association and the union to agree on a pitch clock, which is another way to improve pace of play.

MLB Finalizes Seven-Year, $5.1 Billion Broadcast Deal with FOX Sports

The extension of Manfred wasn’t the only significant thing to occur for MLB last week.

Major League Baseball and FOX Sports finalized a seven-year, $5.1 billion broadcast deal from 2022-28, per Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal.

The new contract is similar to the current one, according to Fisher.

FOX Sports still possesses rights to the ALCS and NLCS while having the option to move games to FS1. The World Series and All-Star Game will remain with FOX.

MLB also announced a three-year deal with digital broadcaster DAZN, which will produce a live look-in show, per Fisher.

The deal with DAZN is worth $300 million over three years and will begin the upcoming season, per Maury Brown of Forbes.

Tampa Bay Rays Starting Pitcher Blake Snell Wins American League Cy Young

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell was named the American League Cy Young Award winner earlier last week.

Snell had 17 first-place votes and 11 second-place votes, while Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander had 13 first-place votes and another 13 second-place votes.

Snell narrowly edged Verlander in total points to win the award as he had 169 points, while Verlander had 154 points.

Snell is the second Tampa Bay Rays pitcher to win the Cy Young Award, as David Price won the award in 2012.

Snell was the favorite to win the award as he led the AL in wins and ERA at 21 and 1.89, respectively. Though he tossed only 180 2/3 innings, which was the fewest for a Cy Young winner in a full season, he was brilliant in each inning.

Snell was the Rays only starting pitcher as the team employed the opener (a reliever starting games) frequently throughout last season.

He was unequivocally their ace and threw the ball as one of the best pitchers in the AL last season.

New York Mets Starter Jacob deGrom Wins National League Cy Young

New York Mets starter Jacob deGrom was named the National League Cy Young Award winner.

deGrom, who won only 10 games which were the fewest amount of victories for a starting pitcher to win the Cy Young, per MLB Stat of the Day.

The previous low was 13 wins held by Seattle Mariners starter Felix Hernandez in the AL in 2010.

deGrom received 29 out of 30 first-place votes, and Washington Nationals starter Max Scherzer received the other first-place vote.

deGrom for much of the 2018 season didn’t receive any run support, which was a significant reason it was difficult for him to earn a win during most of his outings.

However, deGrom was still dominant on the mound as he compiled a 1.70 ERA.

This was the sixth-lowest ERA for any Cy Young Award-winning starter behind Bob Gibson’s 1.12 for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1968, Dwight Gooden’s 1.53 for the New York Mets in 1985, Greg Maddux’s 1.56 for the Atlanta Braves in 1994 and his 1.63 for the Braves in 1995 and Dean Chance’s 1.65 for the Los Angeles Angels in 1964.

deGrom, who won the National League Rookie of the Year in 2014 is the seventh former Rookie of the Year Award winner to win a Cy Young.

The others were Fernando Valenzuela, the only pitcher to win both in the same year, (1981), Tom Seaver, Gooden, Don Newcombe, Rick Sutcliffe, and Verlander.

deGrom had a fantastic season for the Mets and made some history by joining a special club, per MLB Stat of the Day:

It was the first time since 1972 the AL and NL Cy Young Award winners each had sub-2.00 ERAs, per MLB Stat of the Day.

Boston Red Sox Outfielder Mookie Betts Wins American League MVP

Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts was named the American League MVP last week, and it marked the 11th time a Red Sox player won the award.

Some other notable Red Sox players who won the award previously were Ted Williams in 1946 and 1949, Jimmie Foxx in 1938, Jackie Jensen in 1958 and Fred Lynn in 1975.

Betts won the MVP in very convincing fashion as he received 28 first-place votes. Angels outfielder Mike Trout finished a distant second place with one first-place vote and 24 second-place votes.

This marked the fourth time Trout finished second in MVP voting, tying a record shared by Stan Musial, Williams, and Albert Pujols.

Betts also won the AL batting title in 2018, and it’s the 14th time the MVP winner led his respective league in hitting.

The Red Sox outfielder was a stellar hitter for the year, by leading the AL in average, slugging percentage and runs scored at .346, .640, and 129 respectively.

He also had an outstanding 1.078 OPS with 32 home runs, 80 RBIs and 30 stolen bases.

Betts was the table-setter for the Red Sox and played a huge role in the club achieving success during the regular season.

Milwaukee Brewers OF Christian Yelich Wins National League MVP

Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich was named the National League MVP. The Brewers acquired Yelich during the offseason from the Miami Marlins.

Yelich was terrific in his first season with the Brewers, by leading the NL in batting average, slugging percentage, OPS, OPS+, and total bases at .326, .598, 1.000, 164 and 343, respectively.

He also had a .402 on-base percentage, tallied 187 hits, crushed 36 home runs, accumulated 110 RBIs, scored 118 runs and swiped 22 bases.

Yelich kicked things into overdrive during the second half of the season, by compiling a .367 average and 1.219 OPS with 25 homers and 67 RBIs to help the Brewers win the NL Central.

Yelich became the ninth player overall and the second in the NL to win MVP in his first season with a club after being traded.

The other winner in the NL was Braves third baseman Bob Elliott in 1947. Some players who accomplished the feat in AL were Detroit Tigers catcher-manager Mickey Cochrane in 1934, New York Yankees right fielder Roger Maris in 1960 and Baltimore Orioles right fielder Frank Robinson in 1966.

Yelich was nearly unanimously selected as the MVP, as he garnered 29 first-place votes and one second-place vote to give him 415 points from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez was second in the voting, as he received 19 second-place votes, four third-place votes, five fourth-place votes, and two fifth-place votes for a total of 250 points.

The surge by Yelich in the second half played a pivotal role in the voters selecting him as the NL MVP.
Yelich had a very special season as highlighted by MLB Stat of the Day:

Yelich and Betts are the first pair of MVPs to compile at a 1.000 OPS since Josh Hamilton and Joey Votto in 2010, per MLB Stat of the Day.


About Post Author

Chris Lacey

Chris is a New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.
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Author Profile

Chris Lacey
Chris is a New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.

Chris Lacey

Chris is a New Jersey native whose favorite sports team is the Arizona Diamondbacks. He previously attended Western New England College to study Sports Management. Chris has been following the Diamondbacks since he was 12. You can find him on Twitter at @aecanada12.

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