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Sought After Free Agent Yoshinobu Yamamoto Dominates Top Fan Vote, Beating NL Cy Young Favorite Easily

Published 11/08/2023, 7:30 AM EST

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San Diego Padres’ star pitcher Blake Snell had an impressive performance this season. Despite the team’s downfall, his performance has made him one of the final Cy Young contenders this season. Along with Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen and San Francisco Giants’ Logan Webb, he is still on his run to get this honor.

However, the 2023 free agency is getting exciting. From Shohei Ohtani to Yoshinobu Yamamoto, predictions have been flying. But who tops the free agent list this season? A recent online voting poll showed who the fans prefer the most as a starting pitcher free agent this season. Interestingly, the topper’s MLB career hasn’t even started, but he surpassed the Cy Young contender.

Blake Snell can be a favorite Cy Young contender, but not the best free agent

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As the free agency is already on, renowned entities have been doing different opinion polls to understand the trend this season. As it shows, the support is towards Yamamoto this year. A recent Rob Friedman Twitter poll clears this fact. The insider started the poll, saying, “Who is the Best Free Agent Starting Pitcher (not including Shohei Ohtani)?”

It had four options- Blake Snell, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Aaron Nola, and others. The result was pretty predictable. The final outcome shows that Yamamoto won with an enormous gap of 58.8% votes. The Padres pitcher came second with 25.3% votes.

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This voting poll doesn’t confirm anything, but at least shows who the fans prefer most, with a total of 10,574 votes. While Zilla ended his season with a 2.25 ERA and 234 Strikeouts, the 25-year-old Japanese pitcher ended it with a 1.21 ERA and 169 Strikeouts. However, the former is on track to get the second Cy Young after 2018.

About his second time chase, the 30-year-old Padres’ pitcher stated that the Cy Young is a goal for everyone. He said, “You want to be the best pitcher you can be. That award kind of clarifies that. I’m chasing that, because I’m chasing greatness.”

If Snell wins the Cy Young this year, he will register himself for two elite lists of pitchers.

Milestones that Blake Snell is about to touch

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While he might not have won the Twitter poll, Snell is about to reach new peaks. The Padres pitcher, if he wins the Cy Young, will become the second pitcher of the team to have the honor. Prior to him, only Jake Peavy won it for the team in 2007. After Peavy, the team went without the award for 16 years.

Read More: Yoshinobu Yamamoto Breaks Veteran Japanese Ace’s Record in Crucial Game as Free Agency Rumors Heat Up Amidst New York Interest

That’s not everything. If he wins, Snell will have this honor for the second time, which will make him the 22 player in MLB history to have multiple Cy Young awards. Besides that, he will list himself in the elite list of Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Randy Johnson, Roy Halladay, and Max Scherzer to have Cy Young in both AL and NL.

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The results are yet to be out. As the sources say, the winner will be announced November 15 on MLB Network. Do you think Snell will win, or will he have to resign himself to just one Cy Young victory?

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Written by:

Antara Bhattacharyya

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Antara Bhattacharyya is an MLB writer at EssentiallySports. With a graduation degree in English literature from a reputed institution, she has been actively involved in content writing for quite some time. Her love for sports writing dates back to her college days, and today, she has cemented her place with astute coverage of Major League Baseball.
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Edited by:

Donna Eva