Reds ace Trevor Bauer wins 2020 NL Cy Young as he hits free agent market

Mark Townsend
·Yahoo Sports Contributor
·2-min read
Trevor Bauer wins NL Cy Young Award after dominant season with the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
Trevor Bauer wins NL Cy Young Award after dominant season with the Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

It's a clean sweep for the state of Ohio.

Trevor Bauer was named the National League’s Cy Young Award winner on Wednesday after posting a dominant season for the Cincinnati Reds. The announcement came moments after Shane Bieber, Bauer's former teammate with the Cleveland Indians, was revealed as the unanimous choice for the AL Cy Young Award.

Bauer received 27 of 30 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers Association of America. His victory spoiled Jacob deGrom’s bid for a third straight Cy Young Award. The New York Mets ace was looking to join Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson as the only members of that elite group. DeGrom finished third in the voting. Yu Darvish of the Chicago Cubs received three first-place votes to finish second.

Here are the full standings, via the BBWAA. You can find individual ballots on their site.

(BBWAA)
(BBWAA)

Bauer, 29, is the first Reds pitcher ever to win the Cy Young. He led the NL in ERA (1.73) and WHIP (0.795), while striking out 100 batters over 73 innings. He was especially good in September, allowing just five earned runs in five starts. He’s a big reason why Cincinnati ended a seven-year postseason drought. Bauer is also the first Cy Young winner to reach free agency in the same year since Roger Clemens in 2004. Greg Maddux is the last Cy Young winner to change teams in free agency after signing with the Braves in 1992.

As good as Bauer was, some might debate his selection. There’s an argument to be made for deGrom, who continued his run of elite production. He finished with a 2.38 ERA and an NL-leading 104 strikeouts in just 68 innings. No, he wasn’t as good as 2018, when he posted an absurd 1.70 ERA and 269 strikeouts over 217 innings. But he’s been an absolute rock for New York.

Darvish, 34, finally had the season the Cubs hoped for when signing him to a six-year, $126 million deal before the 2018 season. Darvish’s 2.01 ERA was second only to Bauer, and his 93 strikeouts ranked fourth in the NL. Most impressively, Darvish issued the fewest walks (14) among qualified starters and only allowed five homers over 76 innings. His 33 homers allowed in 2019 led the league.

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