Cincinnati Reds ace Trevor Bauer was the winner of the National League Cy Young Award on Wednesday, becoming the first player to take the honor for the Reds, MLB’s oldest franchise.
Bauer, who starred at Hart High of Newhall and then UCLA, went 5-4 with an NL-best 1.73 ERA in 11 starts, helping the Reds reach the playoffs for the first time since 2013. The 29-year-old right-hander struck out 100 in 73 innings and led the majors with two shutouts, a pair of seven-inning performances on doubleheader days.
The brash Bauer became a free agent after the season and turned down the Reds’ qualifying offer, but left the door open for a return.
Chicago Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish finished second in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom was third, ending his bid for a third consecutive NL Cy Young Award. Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young winner, received two fifth-place votes.
It’s the first Cy Young for Bauer, who tied for sixth in the AL voting in 2018 after he went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA for the Indians. He was traded to Cincinnati as part of a three-team deal at last year’s deadline that moved Yasiel Puig to Cleveland.
Bauer struggled after he was acquired by the Reds, going 2-5 with a 6.39 ERA in 10 starts. But he returned to form when this season finally started in July.
He allowed just two runs and eight hits in 26-1/3 innings over his first four starts. He also closed out the season with a flourish, recording a 1.29 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 35 innings over five September starts.
Bauer pitched Game 1 of the playoffs at Atlanta and struck out 12 in 7-2/3 innings. But the Reds lost, 1-0, in 13 innings and failed to score during the Braves’ sweep.
Bauer, who has his own YouTube account and nearly 400,000 followers on Twitter, was selected by Arizona with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2011 draft. He is 75-64 with a 3.90 ERA in 205 career games, including 195 starts.
The BBWAA will announce the MVPs on Thursday night.
More to come on this story.