Cy Young Award has eluded Rangers so far

Texas is only AL club to not have a pitcher take home the hardware

Cy Young Award has eluded Rangers so far

ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Derek Holland would love to win a Cy Young Award. But then, what pitcher wouldn't?

"Winning a Cy Young would mean a lot," Holland said. "One … being healthy for a full season. But all jokes aside, it's a dream all of us would like to achieve. You'd be categorized with the best pitchers of all time. A Cy Young is a huge honor, and I want to achieve that goal."

Cy Young Award winners

Holland has yet to achieve it, but he's not alone among Rangers pitchers. Another Cy Young Award announcement has come and gone, with the Astros' Dallas Keuchel winning in the American League, and the Rangers are left out again.

After 55 years, the Rangers/Senators are still the only AL franchise without a Cy Young winner. They came in second twice, with Yu Darvish behind Max Scherzer in 2013 and Ferguson Jenkins behind Jim "Catfish" Hunter in 1974.

A 20-game winner would help, but the last Ranger to do that was Rick Helling in 1998. Kevin Brown in 1992 and Jenkins in 1974 were the only other two.

There are many ways to land a Cy Young Award winner, but drafting one in the first round is a good start. Seven of the last 10 AL Cy Young winners who were drafted (excluding international signings) were taken in the first round. The Rangers haven't been as shrewd.

Since the Draft began in 1965, the Rangers (and Senators) have had 71 picks in the first or supplemental round. The Rangers used 39 of them to take a pitcher, and only four of those won more than 100 games in their career: Brown (1986), Joe Coleman (1965), Bobby Witt (1985) and Ron Darling (1981). One of those 39 pitchers did win a Cy Young: R.A. Dickey was the Rangers' first-round pick in 1996, and he won his in 2012 with the Mets after a long journey as a knuckleballer.

The only other future winner drafted by the Rangers was Barry Zito in the third round in 1998. But Zito didn't sign, and he was taken by the Athletics in the first round the next year.

Darvish's solid outing

The Rangers aren't the only club to swing and miss on future Cy Young winners at Draft time, even if they did take Jeff Kunkel over Roger Clemens in 1983, Jonathan Johnson instead of Roy Halladay in 1995 and Carlos Pena over CC Sabathia in 1998.

Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine both had to wait until the second round in 1984 before going on to win six Cy Young Awards between them. That year the Rangers took Oddibe McDowell in the first round and pitcher Jimmy Meadows in the second before the Braves took Glavine.

The Rangers didn't have a second-round pick in 1985. They lost it to the Dodgers as compensation for signing free-agent pitcher Burt Hooton. The Dodgers used it to take infielder Mike Watters, and five picks later the Expos selected Randy Johnson.

The Rangers also forfeited their top pick in 1993 for free-agent reliever Tom Henke. The Blue Jays used the 15th overall pick on Chris Carpenter, although he didn't win his Cy Young Award until 2005 with the Cardinals.

Carpenter is one of many pitchers who won their first Cy Young Award with someone other than their original team. So drafting a future winner isn't the only path.

The Rangers almost landed 1988 Cy Young Award winner Orel Hershiser as one of four players from the Dodgers in a 1982 trade for catcher Jim Sundberg. But the Dodgers and Sundberg disagreed over the terms of his contract and the trade was voided.

The Rangers were forever flirting with the idea of trading for Clemens or signing him as a free agent, but Randy Johnson was the big one that slipped away. The Rangers were one of four teams pursuing Johnson as a free agent after the 1998 season, but he decided to sign with the D-backs and won four straight Cy Young Awards.

Dickey is one of two pitchers who have won the Cy Young after leaving the Rangers. The other was Gaylord Perry. He was 15-12 with a 3.37 ERA for the Rangers in 1977, then sent to the Padres for reliever Dave Tomlin and $125,000 that winter. Perry won the Cy Young Award for the Padres in 1978, while the Rangers sold Tomlin to the Reds in Spring Training.

There was a time when the cash-strapped Rangers needed money more than a Cy Young Award winner. That is no longer the case, but the award still eludes them.

"To be the first in Texas would be a huge honor," Holland said.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.