Originally written on The Majors National  |  Last updated 11/11/14
Twins_vs_tigers_ad35

The members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) definitely have their work cut out for them when it comes to picking this year’s American League recipient of the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award, better known as the Most Valuable Player award. For me, the case is undeniably murky. Still, if I had a vote to submit, I would lean ever-so-slightly towards Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera. Let me explain… When reviewing the criteria for the AL MVP award, a few thoughts came to mind. Don’t worry, I didn’t hurt myself. But, in my opinion, there were some glaring points that the members of the BBWAA take into consideration that drastically hurt both Mike Trout, of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and Miguel Cabrera. I bet you didn’t think I was going to go there! But, of course, detractors on both sides of the fence seem keen to harp on these issues. The three criteria, which can be found on the BBWAA’s website are:

1. Actual value of a player to his team, that is, strength of offense and defense.

2. General character, disposition, loyalty and effort.

3. Number of games played.

No one can argue against the offensive prowess of either Cabrera or Trout. It’s Cabrera’s level of defensive play that raises scrutiny. The unfortunate thing for Cabrera is that Trout is the cream of the crop in centerfield for the Angels. Hold on-

Miguel Cabrera is one of best and most-feared hitters of this generation

let me back that train up real quick: I should have said ‘thing(s)’, plural. Here’s why: Cabrera’s problem is that he is no longer at first base. Let me make this real clear… His willingness to go to third base, in order for the Detroit Tigers to sign Prince Fielder, will be the bane to his MVP candidacy. Cabrera went from being a plus-defender as a first baseman to being, at best, an average third baseman. Don’t get me wrong; he is still serviceable. He makes the routine plays, he has a strong throw to first, and he can start double plays to second, all while committing few errors. But, he has a huge lack of range, and, when sizing him up defensively against Trout, he falls short. I don’t like to speculate with ‘if scenarios’, but if he was at first base, that defensive mountain would not be as high to climb for Cabrera. Regardless, there may be light at the end of this tunnel: his willingness to play third base for the sake of the organization may also help him when it comes time to vote. Looking beyond the game of baseball, Miguel Cabrera has kept his nose clean, from a legal standpoint since his DUI conviction in 2009. Additionally, he is clearly dedicated to helping his team win at whatever cost. Cabrera returned to his former position at third base to open the door for the Detroit Tigers to sign first baseman Prince Fielder in the past offseason. He did it willingly, and he did it eagerly. During a presser in January, Tigers’ skipper Jim Leyland stated that when he made the initial Sunday phone call to Cabrera asking him about the organization’s plans to sign Prince Fielder, Cabrera was “100 percent on board”. So much so, that he lost upwards of 20 pounds in order to more effectively man the position. Effort? Check. And, if the recent video that has surfaced of Miguel Cabrera ‘stealing’ a fan’s sign that read, “Fire Leyland” is of any consequence, then his loyalty is definitely not in question. Anyone that has watched a Tigers’ game or postgame interview can attest to the fact that Cabrera is always wearing a smile and being a positive influence on his teammates.

Mike Trout has proven to be versatile in all aspects of the game.

However, the 9.5 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) that Mike Trout currently sports, could easily overshadow those elements of Cabrera’s argument. WAR is an attempt to analyze a player’s batting, fielding and base running statistics into one comparable statistic. Cabrera’s WAR is hanging out at 6.7. That’s excellent, but, still lacking in the increasingly popular sabermetric department. The crux of Trout’s case lies in the fact that, in Major League Baseball, where divisions and wildcards are determined by 1, 1.5, or even 2 games, there’s going to be a tough time garnering validation as the ‘Most Valuable Player’. You see, Trout having missed the first 22 games of the season is the most negative aspect of his shot at being the American League MVP. When you miss a game, you hold zero- mark that- ZERO value to your team. There is a major difference having an 0-4 night at the plate, from a statistics standpoint, and still manning your position on defense. But, for Trout, he wasn’t even playing in the other half of those 198 innings; he contributed absolutely nothing to his team either offensively or defensively. Yes, it’s not his fault, but it does matter. Cabrera has played a good part of the second half of the season in pain due to problems with his ankle and lower leg. But, he has not taken a single trip to the disabled list this year (or his career for that matter), and only missed a grand total of 1 game. Naturally, and I agree, this MVP race will likely be decided in the final weeks of the season. This race is, at this point, just too close to call. If the Detroit Tigers make the playoffs, Cabrera is your MVP. If the Angels make it, Trout’s your guy. However, if Cabrera fails to win it this year, he’ll join Eddie Murray as the only players to finish in the top five of the MVP voting six times yet never win. What a testimony to Cabrera’s consistency, and what a travesty that would be.

American League MVP: The murky case for Miguel

 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
1 Comment:
  • Ok your way wrong here. If you want to argue that Cabrera has had more playing time you have to see what he has done in those 60 extra PAs. and witht em he has made 54 more outs thanks to GIDP and outs on the basepaths.
    You wanna argue what Cabrera has done moving to Third. Well besides being the worst defensive third basemen in the league the tigers moved Young to DH making more playing time availible for Ryan Ryburn, Dom Kelly, and Quinton Berry. Those guys arnt exactly helping the team out. i would have been much better if Prince or Miggy moved to DH
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeSean McCoy: Chip Kelly got rid of ‘all the good black players’

Eric Weddle 'not coming in anytime soon,' seeks new deal

Chris Johnson: I’d be a good fit with Cowboys

Dansby on Manziel: 'He's grown up right before our eyes'

Gregg Popovich reportedly makes $11 million per year

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Stephen Strasburg is hurt again

Mayweather has message for Pacquiao about injured shoulder

Has Blake Griffin taken the next step?

Mike Evans liked Winston more than Mariota

Ernie Johnson gives his Emmy to Stuart Scott’s daughters

Titus Young avoids prison, receives probation

Five NFL QBs facing make-it or break-it seasons in 2015

Jim Harbaugh: I'd love to see Judge Judy on Supreme Court

Which game statistically is most important in an NHL series?

Chip Kelly: 'I won't be here' if Eagles have to draft top QB

WATCH: Olympian uses javelin to pull out daughter's tooth

The brewing dispute over Alex Rodriguez’s bonuses

NCAA to hold record 42 bowl games next season

Mike Wallace: 'I'm the fastest player in the NFL'

Ty Lawson could be trade target for Celtics

WATCH: Zack Greinke does great bat flip after hitting double

WATCH: Fan uses beer as ice pack after being hit by ball

La'el Collins reportedly has 'airtight alibi' in murder case

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jim Harbaugh: I'd love to see Judge Judy on Supreme Court

Chip Kelly: 'I won't be here' if Eagles have to draft top QB

Brewing dispute over A-Rod’s bonuses

Top eight NFL free agents on the market

Eagles' Chip Kelly & Sam Bradford: In like, but not love

Manziel moves from downtown Cleveland

Making sense of the AL East pile-up

Chris Bosh on blood clot diagnosis: ‘I’m lucky to be alive’

Projecting the All-Star Game rosters

Tiger hasn't slept in three days since Lindsey Vonn breakup

2015 NBA Draft big board, first edition

Eliminate Hack-A-Player: Don't reward violating sports rules

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.