Chicago's McDowell Wins AL Cy Young Award

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Chicago White Sox right-hander Jack McDowell, the subject of recent trade speculation, has won the American League Cy Young Award.

McDowell, who was 22-10 and led the AL in victories, easily outdistanced Randy Johnson of the Seattle Mariners in voting by a committee of the Baseball Writers Assn. of America.

McDowell received 21 first-place votes, six seconds and one third for 124 points based on a 5-3-1 system.

Johnson, who was 19-8 with a major league-leading 308 strikeouts, had six firsts, 14 seconds and one third for 75 points. Kevin Appier of the Kansas City Royals, 18-8 with a 2.56 earned-run average, was third, followed by Jimmy Key of the New York Yankees and reliever Duane Ward of the Toronto Blue Jays.

McDowell led the AL in shutouts with four and was second in innings with 256 2/3. He won, however, despite a 3.37 ERA that was the third-highest for a Cy Young recipient and a 2-3 record after Aug. 31.

He was also 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA in the playoffs, but ballots were submitted before the playoffs began.

Although McDowell is the winningest pitcher of the '90s with a 73-39 record, there has been speculation he could be traded before the 1994 season.

McDowell is eligible for free agency after the '94 season and has waged annual contract battles with owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who doesn't think pitchers should receive multiyear contracts.

The White Sox are blessed with three other young starters in Alex Fernandez, Wilson Alvarez and Jason Bere, and apparently believe they could afford to deal McDowell for a top-flight first baseman and/or outfielder before free agency allows him to leave on his own.

The New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles have publicly expressed interest in McDowell, and it has been rumored that he could move to the cross-town Cubs in a deal involving Mark Grace.

The acquisition of a first baseman would permit the White Sox to use Frank Thomas as a designated hitter. Thomas, who has 3 1/2 years of major league experience compared to five-plus for McDowell, recently received a four-year, $29.5-million contract extension, which is thought to have further aggrieved McDowell, who has been unsuccessful in his own quest for a multiyear deal with the Sox.

On Tuesday, however, McDowell said negotiations have improved and that he hoped to stay with the White Sox.

"I wouldn't say we're close or that we're far away," he said. "Obviously, if we can't come to terms, it might be in their best interest to make a deal at some point. That's why we're working hard to get something done."

McDowell, who was a standout at Notre Dame High in Van Nuys before going on to Stanford, said the best measure of his season is the 256 innings because "if you're throwing that many, you're doing everything else well."

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