Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Miguel Cabrera, Buster Posey capture MVP awards

The winner of the great debate over the American League MVP was Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, and it wasn't close Thursday. There was no debate in the National League as Giants catcher and former Florida State star Buster Posey won.

There was an ongoing discussion about the AL race: The "old-school" statistical accomplishments of Cabrera (the first Triple Crown in 45 years at .330, 44 homers and 139 RBIs) vs. the "new-school" sabermetric evaluation of 21-year-old Angels outfielder Mike Trout (.326, 30 homers, 83 RBIs, 49 steals, majors-high 129 runs and majors-high 10.7 Wins Above Replacement).

In the end, Cabrera received 22 of the 28 first-place votes.

"I never expect I'm going to win because Mike Trout had an unbelievable season," Cabrera, 29, said. "I was a little concerned. I thought the new thing about computer stuff. But I was like, 'Relax. If he wins, it's going to be fair because he had a great season.' "

Three Rays received votes. Cy Young winner David Price (who got a third-place vote from John Shipley of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press) finished 12th, closer Fernando Rodney 13th and outfielder/infielder Ben Zobrist 18th.

Posey, whom the Rays considered with the 2008 top pick but instead chose infielder Tim Beckham, received 27 of 32 first-place votes to finish well ahead of Milwaukee's Ryan Braun and Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen. Posey, 25, is the first catcher to win the NL award since Johnny Bench in 1972.

In the spring, Posey focused on just playing. His 2011 season was cut short by a May 25 collision at the plate that resulted in a fractured bone in his lower left leg and three torn ankle ligaments.

Posey not only played, he became the first catcher in 70 years to win the NL batting title (.336) and set career highs in homers (24) and RBIs (103).

"I definitely have a deeper appreciation for being able to play baseball," he said. "I've seen that it can be taken away quick."

Selig reviewing Marlins-Jays trade

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Commissioner Bud Selig said he is exami­ning the pending Marlins-Blue Jays trade and is aware of the fan anger in South Florida.

Miami agreed to send shortstop Jose Reyes, catcher John Buck, utilityman Emilio Bonifacio and pitchers Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to Toronto for a group of touted top prospects. Because the trade is pending physicals, it has not been formally presented to Selig.

But many Marlins fans are upset because the team just moved into a publicly financed stadium and the trade involves most of its highest-paid players. Buehrle and Reyes signed during the last offseason.

"I've talked to two baseball people," Selig said at the close of the owners' meetings. "They think that (Miami), in terms of young players, did very well. These are two independent baseball people. These are not chefs in these kitchens here.

"I want to be my usual painstaking, cautious, slow, conservative self in analyzing it. There's a lot of variables here. I am aware of the anger. I am. I'm also aware that in Toronto they're very happy."

Upton update: B.J. Upton, a free agent after declining the Rays' one-year $13.3 million qualifying offer, spent several hours in Atlanta visiting with the Braves, mlb.com reported. The Phillies and Nats are also said to be interested in the centerfielder.

McCarthy ready: Right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who was hospitalized after taking a line drive to the right side of his head off the bat of the Angels' Erick Aybar on Sept. 5, has been cleared to start offseason workouts. McCarthy, a free agent, sustained an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture and needed surgery. "This last month, I have taken the rest part very seriously," he said. "I'm actually really good at being lazy.

Cubs: Former Rays catcher Dioner Navarro agreed to a deal, the Associated Press reported. Terms were reported. He spent most of 2012 in the minors then hit .290 in 24 games for the Reds.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

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