There is prestige in finishing in the top three of the Cy Young voting each year, right? That might be what the Texas Rangers are telling themselves as they try to rationalize cheering against their own ace pitcher winning the award each year.
Why, you ask, would the Rangers ever cheer against Yu Darvish being voted for a major award? Because if he wins, the Rangers stand to lose him to free agency one year earlier. Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News explained the situation on the heels of Darvish’s first career complete game on Wednesday night:
“In the long term, clearing the hurdle of completing games may be the only thing keeping Darvish from winning a Cy Young. And if he wins one in any of the next three years, he will be able to opt out of his Rangers contract a year early, which means the truest ace the club has ever had would almost certainly become a free agent before 2017.”
Sure, it’s great publicity for the team and you always want to see your own do well, but given the choice between a flawed individual award for one of their players and the chance to keep Darvish under team control for an extra season, I think we all know which option the Rangers would choose.
Darvish is 7-2 through 12 starts so far this season with a 2.11 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and an astounding 10.7 K/9 mark. It is also worth noting that he is only 27 years old, something that is overlooked sometimes.
The Rangers have a guy in his prime who will be a perennial favorite for the Cy Young award. In their unique case, that might actually be a bad thing.