November 14, 2008|By From Sun staff and news services

Indians' Lee, 22-3 in '08, captures AL Cy Young


Cliff Lee won the American League Cy Young Award in a runaway yesterday, capping a dominant comeback season that made him the second consecutive Cleveland Indians left-hander to earn the honor. Demoted to the minors last year, Lee went a major league-best 22-3 this season with a 2.54 ERA. Lee, 30, received 24 of 28 first-place votes and 132 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay was a distant runner-up with four first-place votes and 71 points. Record-setting closer Francisco Rodriguez of the Los Angeles Angels finished third with 32 points. Lee became the third Cleveland pitcher to win a Cy Young, following Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry in 1972 and CC Sabathia last year.

Orioles: : Aubrey Huff was awarded the Silver Slugger award as the top designated hitter in the AL. The award, voted on by coaches and managers, is given to the best offensive producer at each position in both leagues. It's the first Silver Slugger award for Huff, and he became the eighth Oriole to garner the honor and the first since shortstop Miguel Tejada did it in 2005. Huff led the AL with 82 extra-base hits to go along with 32 home runs and 108 RBIs. ... Director of baseball administration Scott Proefrock is a candidate to become a top assistant under new Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. Proefrock, who was hired by the Orioles after the 2005 season, interviewed with Amaro last week at the GM meetings in California after getting permission from Orioles club president Andy MacPhail. ... In the continued effort to find a long-term spring training home, Orioles vice president John Angelos and Alan Rifkin, a lawyer for the club, met Tuesday and Wednesday with Sarasota, Fla. officials. Sarasota County Commissioner Shannon Staub, who is heading the effort to land the Orioles as a spring replacement for the Arizona-bound Cincinnati Reds, will meet with fellow commissioners Tuesday and could make a proposal to the Orioles shortly after. The Orioles' minor league facility is in Sarasota. The Orioles, who are about three months away from starting what could be their last spring training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., already have an offer from Vero Beach to take over the Dodgertown facility. Fort Myers is also reportedly interested in playing host to Orioles spring training.


Diamondbacks: : Five-time Cy Young winner Randy Johnson filed for free agency after failing to reach a deal to return to Arizona. The left-hander, 45, who is five victories shy of 300, made $16 million last year and went 11-10 with a 3.91 ERA. Monday, his agents said they told the Diamondbacks that Johnson was willing to take a 50 percent pay cut. GM Josh Byrnes yesterday said he would not rule out still signing Johnson but added that "something would fundamentally have to change."

Blue Jays: : Pitcher A.J. Burnett filed for free agency on the final day of the 15-day window, after telling the club last week that he would opt out of the final two years of his five-year, $55 million contract. Burnett went 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA last season and led the AL with 231 strikeouts.

Marlins-Cubs:: Chicago acquired reliever Kevin Gregg in a trade with Florida, a move that appears to end Kerry Wood's career with the Cubs. Wood, the 1998 NL Rookie of the Year who saved 34 games this year, had been the longest-tenured player on the Cubs. GM Jim Hendry said Wood was deserving of a three- or four-year deal and the Cubs are not prepared to offer him one. Gregg was acquired for minor league pitcher Jose Ceda. Gregg finished 7-8 with a 3.41 ERA and 29 saves. His nine blown saves tied for most in the majors. Hendry said Gregg had knee surgery and will be ready for spring training.

Yankees-White Sox: : New York acquired utility fielder Nick Swisher from Chicago for pitching prospect Jeff Marquez and infielder Wilson Betemit. The teams also swapped a pair of minor league right-handers as part of the deal, with Chicago receiving Jhonny Nunez and New York getting Kaneoka Texeira.

Et cetera: : The Twins signed manager Ron Gardenhire to a two-year extension through 2011. ... Former Orioles manager Sam Perlozzo joined the Phillies' coaching staff. Perlozzo wasn't immediately assigned a position.

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