I put in my two cents on the Rookie of the Year and Manager of the Year awards yesterday
but got pre-empted by the JJ trade. I'm back to finish the job.
NL - Jake Peavy
AL - C.C. Sabathia
Considering Jake Peavy essentially lead in the pitching Triple Crown of wins, ERA and strikeouts, the NL award is a no-brainer. The AL though is far more interesting.
A pretty tight race with all four candidates staking a claim for the top spot. If we look a the traditional numbers, Beckett lead in wins with 20, Lackey lead in ERA with 3.01, Sabathia lead the league in innings and Carmona lead...okay he finished 2nd in a few categories although I'm sure he lead the league in something. I'll throw out Beckett since I don't put a lot of stock into pitcher wins and that seems to be his only stake to the prize. Out of the remaining three, it's practically a coin-flip decision but I'll give my vote to Sabathia. Out of the remaining three, he led substantially in innings and strikeouts and the ERA gap is marginal. Now if we can only get him to wear his hat straight...
NL - Matt Holliday
AL - Alex Rodriguez
The AL MVP isn't worth discussing except to let Hendry and Tribco. know that the soon to be reigning champ is available on the free market to the highest bidder. The NL on the other hand has as many as 9 candidates worth discussing.
In terms of the traditional stats, Prince led the league in homers, Holliday led in doubles, batting average and RBI's, Rollins led in runs, Chipper in OPS and of course David Wright was a 30/30 man.
Chase Utley was probably well on his way to the MVP before he broke his hand and missed a month of the season, thus leaving his counting stats just a little short. The same can be said for Chipper Jones. As fantastic a season as Prince had, he was outplayed by Albert at his position if you look at the advance metrics. The buzz out there is that it's a race between Rollins and Holliday, and for the life of me I can't figure out why Rollins became a media favorite. The Phils did have a great run down the stretch but he had an .875 OPS in Sept, his teammate Utley was almost as good at .873. Then compare that to Matt Holliday's September (1.244) and Wright (1.034) and the "carrying the team" argument doesn't hold water. Plus he was outplayed at his position by Hanley Ramirez. I think Wright had the better season between Cabrera and himself when you account for defense so that'll knock fat Miggy out. That leaves it a four-horse race between Wright, Holliday, Pujols and Ramirez.
While team success is usually a heavy factor in the MVP race for the traditional media, I tend to use it more as a tie-breaker and in this case I'll use it to filter out Pujols and Ramirez
Another of my favorite stats is OBI%
(Others Batted In%) as tracked by BP. Take the amount of runners on base when a player gets up and the amount of those that score and you get OBI%, about as good a measure of a player's "clutch" ability as you'll find out there besides WPA that I listed earlier.
Holliday - .21218
Wright - .17991
I think you can see where I'm leaning on this one and despite the "Coors" factor, I think Matt Holliday should be your NL MVP...just as long as it's not Jimmy Rollins. If I filled out the traditional ten place ballot, it would have looked like this:
In Cubs news, I mentioned earlier that the Cubs sent $2MM
to the Tigers in the Jones/Infante swap, about a million too much in my opinion and it appears that they'll realize about $2MM in savings when it's all said and done. And it appears that Craig Monroe is about to get dealt
to the Minnesota Twins for a PTBNL.