Jose Fernandez arrived early. Wil Myers made it big after a blockbuster trade.
Neither one needed much time to create a splash, and together they brought both Rookie of the Year awards back to Florida. Fernandez stood out in a very deep National League class this season, and the precocious Miami Marlins pitcher received 26 of 30 first-place votes from a Baseball Writers’ Association of America panel in results announced Monday.
Myers won the American League prize after the Tampa Bay slugger put up impressive offensive numbers in barely half a season. The right fielder was chosen first on 23 of 30 ballots, beating out Detroit shortstop Jose Iglesias and Rays teammate Chris Archer.
“Honestly, when I was called up, that didn’t even cross my mind. As the season went on, I could see I would have a chance,” Myers said from his North Carolina home. “To be able to win is just a huge honor and I’m very excited about it.”
Myers became the third Tampa Bay player in six years to be selected Rookie of the Year, joining Jeremy Hellickson (2011) and Evan Longoria (2008). Seated next to each other, Myers and Archer smiled and shook hands when the winner was revealed on MLB Network.
Fernandez easily topped runner-up Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers as Cuban players ran 1-2 in the NL race.
“It means a lot just to be compared to those guys,” Fernandez said. “I’m not sure I was even born when those guys were playing. But for sure I heard the names before. … All the kids in Cuba play baseball.”
Braves moving: In a stunning announcement, the Atlanta Braves said they are moving in 2017 to a new 42,000-seat, $672 million stadium about 10 miles from downtown Atlanta in suburban Cobb County, apparently swayed by a lucrative financial package that was just too good to pass up.
Mayor Kasim Reed said the city couldn’t match a $450 million offer from one of Atlanta’s sprawling northern suburbs, though it wasn’t immediately clear how the county of some 700,000 people plans to raise the money or whether it will require a vote of the taxpayers.
No takers: Baseball’s annual gathering of general managers began when $14.1 million qualifying offers were turned down by all 13 free agents who received them from their former teams, a group that included Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox.
Three Yankees also said no thanks: Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Hiroki Kuroda.
The others turning down the offers were Atlanta’s Brian McCann, Cincinnati’s Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland’s Ubaldo Jimenez, Kansas City’s Ervin Santana, St. Louis’ Carlos Beltran, Seattle’s Kendrys Morales and Texas’ Nelson Cruz.
Replay moving forward: Baseball owners are likely to give the go-ahead this week to spend the money for expanding instant replay next season.
A baseball official familiar with the deliberations, speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said management probably would approve the additional video review by umpires in phases. The go-ahead to spend the funds probably will occur Thursday. Approval of the rules likely would be put off until the January owners’ meeting.