After the kind of season the Cubs had, placing several players in contention for baseball's biggest awards was to be expected.
Tuesday, the Baseball Writers' Association of America made things official, announcing that Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant and Joe Maddon were finalists for some of the National League's most prestigious awards.
Arrieta is one of three finalists for the National League Cy Young Award, joining Dodgers stars Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
Arrieta went 22-6 with a 1.77 ERA in 33 starts. His 22 victories led baseball, and that ERA ranked second in the majors to Greinke. Arrieta pitched a career-high 229 innings and struck out 236 batters. He pitched the Cubs' first no-hitter since 2008 against the Dodgers and spun a complete-game shutout in the NL wild-card game against the Pirates, delivering the Cubs' first postseason win since 2003.
The last Cubs pitcher to win the Cy Young was Greg Maddux in 1992.
Maddon was named a finalist for the NL Manager of the Year Award, joining Mets skipper Terry Collins and Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.
In his first season leading the Cubs, Maddon turned in 97 regular-season wins, tied for the ninth-most in franchise history. Under Maddon, the Cubs returned to the playoffs for the first time in seven years and defeated the Pirates in the wild-card game and the Cardinals in the NLDS, the team's first playoff series win in 12 years, before getting swept by the Mets in the NLCS.
The last Cubs skipper to win Manger of the Year was Lou Piniella in 2008.
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Bryant was one of three finalists for the NL Rookie of the Year, joining the Giants' Matt Duffy and the Pirates' Jung Ho Kang.
Bryant finished his first season in the bigs with a .275 batting average, a .369 on-base percentage and a .488 slugging percentage. He hit 26 home runs and drove in 99 runs, hitting 31 doubles, walking 77 times and stealing 13 bases. Bryant led rookies in both leagues in RBIs and doubles and tied for the lead in home runs. He ranked fifth in the NL in RBIs and 10th in walks.
The last Cub to win Rookie of the Year was Geovany Soto in 2008.
The winners of all three awards will be announced next week.