R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets and the Tampa Bay Rays’ David Price won baseball’s Cy Young awards on Wednesday.
Dickey was an easy choice for the National League honor in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, where Price barely beat out 2011 winner Justin Verlander for the American League prize in one of the closest votes ever.
Dickey, 38, became the first knuckleball pitcher to win the Cy Young Award, an achievement mentors such as Hall of Famer Phil Niekro are quite proud of.
Dickey joined Dwight Gooden (1985) and three-time winner Tom Seaver as the only Mets to win the award.
“I am not a self-made man by any stretch of the imagination,” Dickey said on the MLB Network. “This is a victory for all of us.”
Dickey garnered 27 of 32 first-place votes and 209 points, easily outdistancing 2011 winner Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers (93). Gio Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals finished third (93).
In the American League, Price was picked by the slimmest of margins. He received 14 of 28 first-place votes and finished with 153 points, just ahead of Verlander (149), who was chosen first on 13 ballots.
It was the tightest race in the history of the AL award other than Mike Cuellar and Denny McLain’s tie in 1969.
“It means a lot,” Price said. “It’s something that I’ll always have.”
Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels came in third (70) with Seattle’s Felix Hernandez a distant fourth place (41). Hernandez received no first- or second-place votes and was chosen third on five ballots.
MAJORLY BIG DEALS
San Francisco left-handed reliever and Spokane resident, Jeremy Affeldt, and the World Series champion Giants agreed on an $18 million, three-year contract.
Affeldt, 33, went 1-2 with a 2.70 ERA in 67 appearances covering 63 innings this season out of the San Francisco bullpen.
Affeldt grew up in Spokane and attended Northwest Christian (Spokane) High.
In other major league signings, free-agent outfielder Torii Hunter agreed to a $26 million, two-year deal with Detroit, giving the Tigers a capable corner outfielder coming off an impressive season at age 37.
Hunter hit a career-best .313 last season for the Los Angeles Angels.
OWNERS’ MEETINGS QUIETLY BEGIN
Major league owners and executives descended on Chicago for the first of two days of meetings.
Miami’s trade of All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, ace Josh Johnson and left-hander Mark Buehrle to Toronto for a package of top prospects Tuesday was the talk of the baseball world. But the game’s power brokers didn’t seem too interested in talking about the trade – or anything else – in public.
Commissioner Bud Selig and the owners shuffled in and out of rooms all day, but no one seemed interested in talking about the topics discussed at the meetings.
Four free agents from Japan are looking to move to the major leagues: pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa of the Hanshin Tigers, Seibu Lions shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima, Nippon Ham Fighters infielder Kensuke Tanaka and Orix Buffaloes catcher Takeshi Hidaka. ... The Red Sox signed catcher David Ross to a two-year deal worth $6.2 million. ... Bartolo Colon will be welcomed back to the A’s with no hard feelings said newly crowned AL Manager of the Year Bob Melvin. Colon’s 2012 season ended with a 50-game suspension Aug. 22 for testing positive for testosterone.