MLB Award Finalists have been announced
On Monday night, we learned the finalists for the major MLB awards to be announced next week. It should be mentioned that these “finalists” are really just a marketing ploy. The voting is done and they already know who won. It’s not as if there’s a second round of voting. Still, it’s fun to know who was close and finished further down the ballot than expected. The Red Sox had a couple of finalists, neither of whom was a surprise. Chris Sale is a Cy Young finalist. I think the race could be close there, but Corey Kluber is still expected to win the award. Andrew Benintendi, meanwhile, is a Rookie of the Year finalist. That race will not be close and Aaron Judge will almost certainly win by unanimous vote. Here is the full list of finalists.
AL MVP: Aaron Judge (Yankees), Jose Altuve (Astros), Jose Ramirez (Indians)
NL MVP: Joey Votto (Reds), Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins), Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks)
AL Cy Young: Chris Sale (Red Sox), Corey Kluber (Indians), Luis Severino (Yankees)
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers), Max Scherzer (Nationals), Stephen Strasburg (Nationals)
AL Manager of the Year: Terry Francona (Indians), A.J. Hinch (Astros), Paul Molitor (Twins)
NL Manager of the Year: Bud Black (Rockies), Torey Lovullo (Diamondbacks), Dave Roberts (Dodgers)
AL Rookie of the Year: Aaron Judge (Yankees), Andrew Benintendi (Red Sox), Trey Mancini (Orioles)
NL Rookie of the Year: Cody Bellinger (Dodgers), Josh Bell (Pirates), Paul DeJong (Cardinals)
The Qualifying Offer deadline has come and gone
Before the award finalists were announced on Monday, teams had to decide to which players they wanted to extend qualifying offers. Most of these moves were no-brainers, with guys like Eric Hosmer, Jake Arrieta and Mike Moustakas obviously getting them. There were a few surprises, though, and the biggest to me was the Reds not extending an offer to Zack Cozart. Now, it’s true that the shortstop took a major leap forward in 2017, is going to be 32 years old and there isn’t a huge market for shortstops right now. It makes sense, but he just seems like a player who should get a qualifying offer. As for potential Red Sox targets, Hosmer and Carlos Santana were among the nine players who received qualifying offers. If the Red Sox do sign someone who got an offer, they would lose their second-highest draft selection along with $500,000 in international signing money.
- The Cardinals released Trevor Rosenthal on Monday. At one point in 2017 he was pitching like one of the best relievers in the game. Then, he got hurt in a game at Fenway Park and will miss almost all of 2018. He could be an interesting candidate to try and sign for two years and pay for his rehab in order to have a chance at full-strength Rosenthal in 2019. I would hope the Red Sox at least explore that option, though it’s hard to have a strong opinion either way without medical knowledge.
- Shohei Otani is now represented by CAA. Perhaps he is going to retain them for a few years, but this seems to point to him coming over.
- Pablo Sandoval had his option picked up by the Giants, which seems crazy at first view but makes more sense when you remember that they’re paying him the league minimum and can cut him for minimal cost whenever they want.
- Aaron Judge is going to be on the cover of MLB The Show 18. This is no surprise as he turned into a bona fide star in 2017 and plays for the Yankees. As much as we hate the Yankees, it’s hard to criticize this decision.