Blue Jays ace Gausman among finalists for AL Cy Young Award

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NEW YORK — Toronto Blue Jays ace Kevin Gausman, New York Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole and Minnesota Twins right-hander Sonny Gray are finalists for the American League Cy Young Award.

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The top three finishers in voting for each of the major individual awards presented annually by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America were announced Monday night on MLB Network. All winners will be revealed next week.

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In the National League, it’s Zac Gallen of the NL champion Arizona Diamondbacks, Blake Snell of the San Diego Padres and Logan Webb of the San Francisco Giants.

Two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani is a finalist for the AL MVP award, along with Corey Seager and Marcus Semien of the World Series-champion Texas Rangers.

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Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. headlines the remaining contenders for the NL prize, joined by Los Angeles Dodgers teammates Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman.

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For AL Rookie of the Year, it’s down to Cleveland Guardians pitcher Tanner Bibee, Boston Red Sox first baseman Triston Casas and Baltimore Orioles infielder Gunnar Henderson.

The remaining NL Rookie of the Year candidates are Diamondbacks outfielder Corbin Carroll, Dodgers centre-fielder James Outman and New York Mets pitcher Kodai Senga.

Still up for AL Manager of the Year are first-year Texas manager Bruce Bochy, Tampa Bay’s Kevin Cash and Baltimore’s Brandon Hyde.

Finalists in the National League include Milwaukee skipper Craig Counsell, who left his hometown team Monday to manage the rival Chicago Cubs, along with Skip Schumaker of the Miami Marlins and Brian Snitker of the Braves.

Balloting is conducted before the post-season.

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Ohtani, a free agent, is a strong front-runner to win his second AL MVP award in three years even though his season with the Los Angeles Angels ended Sept. 3 because of injuries.

At the plate, he batted .304 with an AL-high 44 homers and 95 RBIs, leading the majors in OPS at 1.066. On the mound, he went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 132 innings over 23 starts.

After undergoing surgery in September on his right elbow, Ohtani is not expected to pitch next season. But his surgeon has said Ohtani should be able to hit in 2024 before returning to the mound in 2025. Agent Nez Balelo has said Ohtani is determined to continue his two-way career after recovering from surgery.

Last year, Ohtani finished second to Yankees slugger Aaron Judge in AL MVP voting and fourth in Cy Young Award balloting.

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