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MLB Roundup 11/3: BBWAA Award Finalists Named

They’re not really finalists though.

MLB: World Series-Tampa Bay Rays at Los Angeles Dodgers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

BBWAA Finalists Announced

There wasn’t a whole lot of baseball news on Monday to start off the week, but we did get some awards finalists in what was inexplicably a two-hour announcement show. The one good thing about the Red Sox being so bad is that there was absolutely no reason for me to watch that show. It will come as no shock that Boston had exactly zero (0) finalists for Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and MVP.

Before I get to the actual finalists, let me just go on my semi-annual rant that there is no such thing as finalists for this award. The word finalists implies that there is another round of voting now that the field has been cut down, possibly with the participants having another chance to make a case for themselves. That is not how this works. These are just the top three vote-getters. The winner is already known, it just hasn’t been announced. Why this bothers me so much, I have no idea. But I’m right and MLB is wrong.

Anyway, here are the “finalists”:

Rookies of the Year

AL

Cristian Javier, RHP (HOU)

Kyle Lewis, OF (SEA)

Luis Robert, OF (CHW)

This is not a super strong class, and Robert is probably the favorite to be the better player long-term. This isn’t a long-term award, though, and to me Lewis has to be the easy favorite. He put up a 126 wRC+ in Seattle this summer.

NL

Alec Bohm, 3B (PHI)

Jake Cronenworth, INF (SD)

Devin Williams, RHP (MIL)

This is one of the most interesting votes on the board this year. Bohm had a 138 wRC+, and he’s probably a safe bet for third, which tells you how loaded this class is. Cronenworth looked like the runaway favorite in the first half, but after cooling off I think I’d go with Williams, who only pitched 25 innings but was the best reliever in all of baseball in those innings.

Managers of the Year

AL

Kevin Cash (TB)

Charlie Montoyo (TOR)

Rick Renteria (CHW)

I’m not going to pretend I know anything about how this award works. But I will note the White Sox were forced to congratulate Renteria, a man they just fired, on Twitter, which was fun.

NL

Don Mattingly (MIA)

David Ross (CHC)

Jayce Tingler (SD)

Again, no idea, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Mattingly won, which is pretty wild after he had his team go out and play amid a COVID breakout.

Cy Young

AL

Shane Bieber (CLE)

Kenta Maeda (MIN)

Hyun-Jin Ryu (TOR)

It’s pretty wild that two of these three pitchers were on the Dodgers last year. They lost two Cy Young “finalists” and still won the World Series. But neither will win. Bieber is the easy choice here.

NL

Trevor Bauer (CIN)

Yu Darvish (CHC)

Jacob deGrom (NYM)

I truly have no idea how you’re supposed to vote for this award. All three of these guys are so close — and there were some outstanding pitchers not in the top three as well — that no choice would be wrong. I think I’d go deGrom, but I don’t know if I’m putting too much stock into quality of competition, which is a bit of a chicken or egg conversation. But again, there is no wrong choice.

MVP

AL

José Abreu, 1B (CHW)

DJ LeMahieu, 2B (NYY)

José Ramirez, 3B (CLE)

This is another really tough one. My expectation is that Abreu is going to win, but I would go with Ramirez. He was the better all-around player than Abreu and while LeMahieu was even better on a rate basis, missing ten games is a lot in a 60-game season.

NL

Mookie Betts, RF (LAD)

Freddie Freeman, 1B (ATL)

Manny Machado, 3B (SD)

Oh, Mookie. He’s not going to win, though. This is Freddie Freeman’s award, and deservedly so. The man played in every game this summer (after fighting COVID before the season!) and hit .341/.462/.640. That’s bananas.