Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw won the National League Cy Young Award for the second time in the past three seasons today, following a season in which he went 16-9 and led the majors in ERA (1.83) for the third consecutive season, becoming the first pitcher to do that since Atlanta’s Greg Maddux did it from 1993-95.
Kershaw allowed no more than one run in 16 of his 33 starts this season.
Kershaw was a near-unanimous winners, receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes. The other first-place vote went to second-place finisher Adam Wainwright of St. Louis.
The Cy Young Award is the major league-leading 11th by a Dodgers pitcher.
Kershaw, 25, also was an All-Star for the third year in a row, and he actually finished second in Cy Young Award voting last year behind New York’s R.A. Dickey. Two years ago, Kershaw won the pitching version of the triple crown, leading the league in wins, ERA and strikeouts. His ERA this year was the best of his career.
Kershaw is potentially eligible for free agency after next season if the Dodgers don’t sign him to an extension. There was one media report last month that the Dodgers had offered Kershaw a deal with a total value of $300 million during the season. Kershaw, who never specifically addressed that report, has publicly expressed disappointment that word the negotiations were taking place had leaked publicly.
When the MLB Network crew asked Kershaw about his contract negotiations on live television at the award announcement, Kershaw’s wife and several friends walked into the shot to congratulate him, saving him from having to answer the question. Kershaw later claimed on a media conference call that was merely a coincidence.
“That was perfect timing,” he said. “I don’t know how that happened, but it was great. I didn’t have to answer. That was perfect. Not my doing, just coincidence.”
Kershaw said no negotiations presently are under way on a new deal.
“Right now, I am in L.A. for (at least) one more year, and that is kind of as far as I am looking at it,” he said. “No talks have happened yet this offseason. That is really all I want to talk about as far as that goes. We’ll just see what happens. It’s kind of an open book right now.”