Yankees ace Gerrit Cole led a strong campaign for the 2023 American League Cy Young Award, and he entered the offseason as the presumptive favorite. The first step in the MLB awards process is to officially be named a finalist, which is a little silly since it’s not as though there’s a second round to the voting — the three finalists are simply the players who ranked among the top three.
Nonetheless, that’s just how the league does it these days. Cole has officially been named an AL Cy Young Award finalist, alongside former Yankee Sonny Gray of the Twins and division rival Kevin Gausman of the Blue Jays. The winner will be formally announced on November 15th at 6pm ET.
Cole is probably the most acclaimed active pitcher in baseball to have never won a Cy Young, as he finished runner-up in both 2019 and 2021 despite very impressive numbers, which were better than the actual winners (Justin Verlander and Robbie Ray) in multiple categories. Perhaps this is the season for his odd-year magic to lead to some hardware at last. He would be the first Yankees pitcher to take home the Cy since Roger Clemens won it in 2001, a year in which the actual winner should have been his teammate, Mike Mussina. So it goes.
Tomorrow, Matt Ferenchick will have a more detailed breakdown of how Cole’s case for the prestigious honor compares to Gausman and Gray.