Highest finish for Japanese pitcher in MLB history, highest for Texas hurler since '74
ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish finished second in the American League Cy Young Award voting on Wednesday, losing out to Max Scherzer of the Tigers in the 2013 voting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Hisashi Iwakuma of the Mariners finished third.
The Rangers remain the only American League team to have never had a Cy Young Award winner. Their previous highest finisher was Ferguson Jenkins, who finished second to Jim "Catfish" Hunter of the Athletics in 1974. Among National League teams, the Marlins, Rockies and Reds have never had a Cy Young Award winner. Darvish is only the second Texas pitcher to finish higher than fifth in the voting, and his second-place finish is the highest of any Japanese-born pitcher in MLB history.
Darvish was 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA in 32 starts and 209 2/3 innings for the Rangers this past season. He led the AL with 277 strikeouts, and his .194 opponents batting average was the lowest in the league. Darvish did not receive one first-place vote, but he was second on 19 of 30 ballots.
Scherzer, who received 28 of 30 first-place votes, was 21-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 240 strikeouts over 32 starts and 214 1/3 innings. Iwakuma was 14-6 with a 2.66 ERA and 185 strikeouts over 33 starts and 219 2/3 innings.
"It was an honor to be a finalist for the American League Cy Young Award," Darvish said in a statement. "Both Max Scherzer and Hisashi Iwakuma had tremendous seasons. Max is a very deserving winner. I would like to thank my teammates, the entire Texas Rangers organization, and most of all, the fans, for their on-going support. I look forward to the 2014 season and helping my team to achieve our goal: to bring a World Series championship to Texas."
By finishing second, Darvish will receive a $200,000 bonus above his $9.5 million salary for 2013. The second-place finish is also a step toward allowing Darvish to possibly leave the Rangers one year sooner than expected.
The Rangers signed Darvish to a six-year, $56 million contract on Jan. 18, 2012, after submitting a high posting bid of $51.7 million. But according to the terms agreed to by both parties in the deal, Darvish can opt out of the final year depending on how he does in the Cy Young Award voting over the first five seasons of the contract.
According to the terms of Darvish's contract, he can void the last season of the deal by winning one Cy Young Award and finishing second, third or fourth in one other season. Darvish can also void his $11 million contract for 2017 by finishing second in the Cy Young voting in one season and second, third or fourth in two other seasons.
So Darvish, after finishing second this year, needs to either win the Cy Young once or finish second, third or fourth twice in the voting over the next three seasons. If he does, it would allow the pitcher to void the $11 million contract for 2017. Darvish finished ninth in the voting as a rookie in 2012.