Granderson, Cano finish fourth and sixth in AL MVP race


The AL Cy Young Award wasn’t enough. Justin Verlander was named the MVP of the American League today, receiving 13 of 28 first place votes. He’s the first pitcher to win the award since Dennis Eckersley in 1992, and the first starting pitcher to win the award since Roger Clemens in 1986. He’s also the first Tiger to be named MVP since Willie Hernandez in 1984.

Curtis Granderson was the Yankees’ best player all season, and was rewarded for his efforts with a fourth place finish in the voting. He received three first place votes and finished with 215 points, trailing only Verlander (280), Jacoby Ellsbury (242), and Jose Bautista (231). The top five finish triggers an escalator clause in his contract, raising the value of his 2013 option from $14M to $15M. Robinson Cano finished sixth in the voting with 112 points, though he did not receive any first or second place votes.

CC Sabathia (two sixth place votes), Mark Teixeira (one seventh and one tenth place vote), and David Robertson (one tenth place vote) also appeared on ballots. The full results are available on the BBWAA’s site. The NL MVP will be announced tomorrow at 2pm, the final award of the season.

Categories : Asides


  1. DERP says:

    Michael Young (head explodes)

  2. Rey22 says:

    Robertson with the 10th place vote……lol

  3. mt says:

    A seventh place vote for Tex when Grandy, Cano, and Sabathia had the seasons they did (and that was just the Yankees who were better than Tex)- wow!

  4. Drew says:

    Robertson being mentioned is a testament to how ridiculous his season was.

    • bonestock94 says:

      And how dumb the voters are

      • Pat D says:

        Not really. One tenth place vote isn’t going to swing the difference one way or the other ever.

        Just one writer’s way of saying, “Hey, this guy had a season worthy of recognition.”

        I mean, someone gave Jeremy Freaking Affeldt a tenth place vote a few years ago.

  5. ADam says:

    Good for Verlander.. I was certain the writers were going to hand it to Gonzalez or Ellsburry

    • bonestock94 says:

      Ellsbury was very deserving of it

      • Thomas Cassidy says:

        No, he wasn’t. He had no value. I don’t think you should win the MVP if your team isn’t in the playoffs. And yes, I wouldn’t vote for Matt Kemp this year.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          That’s such an outdated way of thinking. Why are you punishing Kemp because Ned Colletti is an idiot and can’t build a team good enough to win a weak division?

        • hogsmog says:

          Isn’t that what playoff MVPs are for? “Had no value”-This is all sorts of wrong. It makes no sense to me why anyone would consider the success of one’s teammates a prerequisite for determining the success of an individual.

          Was 2010 Ramiro Pena more valuable than 2010 Jose Bautista? Who would you rather have on your team?

    • Mr. Sparkle says:

      Ellsbury definitely deserved it. The Sox tanked in September, but none of it was his fault. He had big hit after big hit all season long and, unlike Verlander, did it every day. Once again, I think the voters missed the point.

  6. UYF1950 says:

    It would appear that now Cano and Granderson both have $15MM team options for the 2013 season.

    Congratulations to all the Yankees receiving votes for AL MVP.

  7. Drew says:

    Clemens won the AL MVP in 1986 not 1996

  8. UncleArgyle says:

    Glad to see Verlander win over Ellsbury. Mainly because I hate the Red Sox. I do have a problem with a starting pitcher being named “Most Valuable” however. Out of 162 games, Verlander played in only 34 of them. Of those 34 games, he only played the entire 9 innings 4 times. Anyway, better him than a Red Sox.

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Verlander faced ~200 more batters than Ellsbury had plate appearances, and he hit leadoff all year. Games played doesn’t tell the whole story.

      • UncleArgyle says:

        Does Defense matter in MVP discussions?

        • Jesse says:

          Why not? But I don’t know how the voters think, so who knows.

          • UncleArgyle says:

            What I was getting at, is that even though Verlander faced more hitters than Ellsbury had at bats, Ellsbury was playing a “elite” type center field while his team was in the field. 1400 innings of high quality center feild defense have a significantly higher “value” than 250 innings of middling defense from the pitcher.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              Defense is still very hard to measure and the metrics are volatile from year to year… hard to base MVP on Ellsbury’s MVP on his first significantly positive FLD in 3 years.

              Defense is important, but that doesn’t mean a P can’t be the most valuable player in the league.

            • Jesse says:

              I don’t think he played “1400 innings of high quality center field” because I’m sure a lot of those 1,400 innings he was standing around and not doing anything, because the ball simply wasn’t hit in his direction.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Great point.

      • Mike M says:

        I think the point is that Verlander only had an impact on 21% of his teams games, whereas Ellsbury had an impact on 99% of his.

        • UncleArgyle says:


        • Ted Nelson says:

          The award isn’t handed out for how many games you impact, but how much of an impact you have in those games…

          The point is that a pitcher can have more of an impact on each game than a position player. Is Verlander deserving? I don’t know. Is it possible for a pitcher to be deserving? Absolutely. Simply writing off all pitchers because they don’t play every day seems ridiculous to me.

          • UncleArgyle says:

            I wouldn’t write off all starting pitchers, but for me, a pitcher needs to really seperate himself from the feild to be considered the most valued/impactful player in the league. Say, pitching (and dominating) in September while making most starts on 3 days rest.

          • Jesse says:

            It is. I’m not 100% sure, so don’t hold me to it, but I heard somewhere on MLB Network or whatever that supposedly on the MVP ballot it states that if you are not willing to vote a pitcher for MVP at all just because he’s a pitcher you should not be allowed to have a vote.

        • Mike Axisa says:

          What about all the time Jim Leyland was able to go to town with his bullpen because he knew Verlander was going to go 7+ innings the next day, or because he’d thrown a complete game the night before?

          • UncleArgyle says:

            Verlander threw 4 completes games. So Leyland could “go to town” with his bullpen exactly four times in 2011. Anyway, I see your point, but lets not act like Ellsbury, or Granderson, or Batista, didn’t effect the way the game was managed. How many LOOGYS were called in to face Ellsbury or Granderson?

            • Doug says:

              Think he’s talking about the game before verlander pitches. Knowing that you’re likely to get 7+ innings from him, can pitch your bullpen the game before full throttle knowing they likely won’t be needed the next day.

          • CS Yankee says:

            “Big-game James” should have recieved some (or more) votes then.

            I had…
            1) Joey
            2) Justin
            3) :::space:::
            4) like 6 other players (including Grandy)
            10) lawn gnome aka PEDroida

            • Ted Nelson says:

              I don’t think Mike is suggesting that complete games be the sole metric on which complete games is based.

              More so pointing out that there are many things to weigh besides games played or one website’s cumulative metric. Especially when bWAR had Verlander as the deserving winner.

              I am not saying that Verlander is the winner. I am saying that the debate needs to go a LOT deeper than games played or position played.

              • Ted Nelson says:

                “I don’t think Mike is suggesting that complete games be the sole metric on which complete games is based.”

                *base MVP voting on

          • Mr. Sparkle says:

            By that logic James Shields and C.C. Sabathia should have finished much higher. I have to respectfully disagree that a starting pitcher deserves more MVP consideration because of what might happen in subsequent games in which he DOESN’T appear. Call me old-fashioned, but I like to only credit guys for MVP consideration in games they actually play. It’s too much of a stretch for me to say the Tigers did better two days after a game Verlander pitched because of how he pitched in that previous game. But that’s just me.

            • UncleArgyle says:

              Thats a great point. Now I agree with Mike that there was some sort of impact. But trying to quanify that in an MVP discussion seems like a much too slippery slope.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              That’s not the logic. The logic is that it’s one part of a much larger equation.

              CC didn’t pitch as many innings overall or per start as Verlander.

              “Call me old-fashioned, but I like to only credit guys for MVP consideration in games they actually play.”

              We’re not at the point to judge it on that yet, but with better metrics we probably will be down the line.

              • UncleArgyle says:

                The day we get a Metric that tells us the Tigers won TODAY because of how well Verlander pitched YESTERDAY is the day I stop paying attention to metrics. Its like the debunked Protection Theory, only taking it MUCH further.

                • Ted Nelson says:

                  A. You think that current metrics are perfect and will not advance?

                  B. You think that a manager’s decision making on who pitches when doesn’t impact the results of games?

                  This is common sense stuff.

                  • Mr. Sparkle says:

                    A. No…I don’t think they’re perfect. Stats are funny in that they can easily be crafted to back up any argument. Don’t like batting average? Well, now here’s WAR or BABIP or some other crazy formula. I know this is a sabermetrics heavy website, but I don’t buy a lot of it.

                    B. I think a manager does keep in mind future games when making pitching decisions. But common sense is that if a pitcher doesn’t pitch in a game, he has no direct impact on that game. Therefore, he shouldn’t be rewarded for something that some crazy mathematical equation assumes. I’m sorry, but I like to see real world results when I’m making assessments on a player.

                • Mr. Sparkle says:

                  I already stopped paying attention to metrics because it’s already gotten to that point for some people. I don’t care what equation they come up with, I’m never going to be sold that you can figure out how a pitcher’s performance on Monday affected his team’s performance on Tuesday in a game in which he didn’t pitch.

        • CP says:

          So 4-5 PA in a game for a hitter has the same impact as a pitcher facing 25-30 batters?

  9. Tags says:

    Who said 1996 not the article?

  10. Jesse says:

    I would have gave it to Bautista. He hit 43 dingers, drew 132 walks, had a .608 Slug%, a 1.056 OPS, and a 181 OPS+, all leading the league. Not saying Verlander shouldn’t win the award because he’s a pitcher, but I would have voted for Bautista.

  11. greatscott723 says:

    “He’s the first pitcher to win the award since Dennis Eckersley in 1992, and the first starting pitcher to win the award since Roger Clemens in 1986. He’s also the first pitcher to win both the MVP and Cy Young Award in the same season since Willie Hernandez in 1984, who also happens to be the last Tiger to be named MVP.”

    You contradicted yourself… Clemens & Eckersley won both awards in the same season so saying “He’s also the first pitcher to win both the MVP and Cy Young Award in the same season since Willie Hernandez” is incorrect.

    • Jesse says:

      All he’d have to do is just say “He’s also the first Tiger to win both the MVP and Cy Young award in the same season since Willy Hernandez in 1984″. Everything else is correct then.

  12. Karl Krawfid says:

    Can anyone explain to me how Pedro didn’t win the mvp in 1999, but Verlander did this year?


    • Pat D says:

      Yea, voters were morons in 1999.

      Really, though, you could have given it to like 6 different guys that year. I thought that was Jeter’s year, frankly.

    • CS Yankee says:

      Yes, Verlander had the most votes this year while Pedro did not get the most votes in 1999.

      Joey deserved it moreso than Verlander, IMHO. I would give it to a pitcher in an extreme year but didn’t think this was the year. He is a much better choice than Ellsbury though.

      • Pat D says:

        I don’t think so. I would have had Ellsbury 1st, Joey Bats 2nd. Don’t think I would have put Verlander higher than 4th.

        • CS Yankee says:

          Youk wouldn’t even agree with you…plus, didn’t Joey have a 181+?

          Disclaimer: I discount Saux players a bit to offset the EnglandsSoxPatroitNetwork factor.

          • Pat D says:

            Well, I don’t do that when it comes to awards voting, because it’s being stupidly biased.

            And who cares what Youk thinks, he’s a raging asshole.

        • Mr. Sparkle says:

          I agree with Ellsbury at 1st. I would have gone with Cano second and Miguel Cabrera 3rd. A little homerism with Cano? Maybe. But I thought he was the one consistent Yankee throughout the year in a season where they had a LOT of streaky hitters. In other words, the one guy in that lineup you could count on day in/day out.

  13. BigTimeBartolo says:

    I don’t think Verlander should have won the award. Yes he was great all season, but he was treated like he just had the greatest season for a pitcher in the past 20 years. Pedro, RJ and Clemens all had better seasons during their prime and didn’t get the MVP. I’m not complaining that Grandy didn’t win, because in all honesty that was a long-shot anyways, but I think Bautista should have won. I just think the narrative took over and swayed a lot of voters, which is stupid.

    • Greg says:

      Bautista was punished (unfairly, perhaps) that his team didn’t even sniff the playoffs.
      Ellsbury was punished (again maybe unfairly) because of the collapse.
      Granderson had a slide towards the end of the season which cost him the MVP.

  14. Pat D says:

    Wow, Michael Young got a 1st place vote?!?!?!

    Every time something like this happens, I just hate him so much more!

    • CS Yankee says:

      Must be because he is such a team player, never complaining on where he bats or plays.

      If there were only more players like him, but if there were, he wouldn’t be special anymore.

      • Pat D says:

        Of course! I keep forgetting how he’s never complained about his spot in the batting order, or where he plays on the field, and that he’s never demanded a trade due to those reasons.

      • Thomas Cassidy says:

        People seem to forget he’s also a whiny bitch that demanded to be traded because he was told to switch positions.

  15. CP says:

    I love how the second best pitcher in the AL won the AL MVP.;players=

    • Jesse says:

      Uhhhh, Verlander had five more wins than Sabathia!

    • Ted Nelson says:

      That’s one metric. I often cite it myself, but fWAR is not the end-all-be-all of baseball value.

      bWAR, for example, has Verlander at 8.6 and CC at 6.9:

      • CP says:

        bWAR assumes that pitchers have control over BABIP and situational hitting/pitching. I don’t think that’s a reasonable evaluation of a pitchers skill. CC gets the edge over Verlander because he gets more ground balls (and thus fewer HRs), with similar K and BB rates. Plus he faced significantly better hitters.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          I don’t think assuming they have no control is reasonable either.

          A hard line drive to the OF, say off the wall, has a lot higher chance of doing damage than a slow ground ball. Just like pitchers can control swing and misses to an extent, they can control quality of contact to an extent. To say that they can control swings and misses but have absolutely no control over swing and hits is the dumbest thing I have heard is a while.

          My point was not that bWAR is some amazing stat that knows everything. My point is that fWAR is not either.

          “CC gets the edge over Verlander because he gets more ground balls (and thus fewer HRs), with similar K and BB rates. Plus he faced significantly better hitters.”

          Put it together and analyze it. This is not a strong analysis. I’m not interested in looking at a a “because I say so” and “three metrics where he’s better and sort of worse but I haven’t bothered to quantify how much better and worse” analysis. It’s a waste of my time.

          • CP says:

            So it’s a waste of your time to have a brief summary of why CC was better than Verlander this year, but it’s not a waste of time to just say I’m wrong, with no supporting evidence?

        • candyforstalin says:

          verlander ld% – 17.7
          sabathia ld% – 23.1

          babip isn’t just luck or defense.

  16. Mike HC says:

    My ballet has Verlander as MVP and Bautista a close second. Then Granderson and Cano tied for third (ha, what the hell)

  17. vin says:

    Bautista was robbed. Also, as great a season as Ellsbury had, Joey Bats’ was better. He only played in 9 fewer games than Ellsbury, yet had ~150 fewer ABs. When he had the opportunity to hit, he did more damage than Ellsbury. Although uzr doesn’t love his RF defense, his arm is a very real threat – which is a pretty big deal for a RFer.

    I have no problem having a pitcher win the MVP… but I do feel it needs to be just that much better than his competition in order to deserve it. I understand Verlander faced more batters than most guys get PA’s, but that eliminates the defensive end of the spectrum from the equation. If a guy like Bautista, Ellsbury, Granderson, Cano, or Gonzalez brings some positive attributes to the table defensively, in addition to their stellar bats, shouldn’t that improve their value relative to a pitcher?

    Comparing pitchers and position players is pretty much apples and oranges.

  18. MattG says:

    If this had been announced on October 1st, it would feel less wrong than it does now. With the amazing regular season having just been completed, what Verlander had done seemed a good deal more impressive than it does currently, after his inauspicious post-season.

    But even on 10/1, I still had problems with Verlander’s strength of schedule. Both Bautista and Ellsbury were more deserving, and if it weren’t for the roof in Tropicana field, Granderson might have had an argument, too.

  19. Gonzo says:

    If Ellsbury would have won the MVP would that have helped his arbitration case?

  20. It'sATarp says:

    Can’t wait til verlander fails to live up to the hype next year.

  21. Darren says:

    is someone really arguing that CC was better than Verlander this year? DId you watch the game? CC pitched like an ace for 2 months. For 2 and 1/2 months he pitched like a #1, not like an ace. For 1.5 months he pitched like a #2 or #3.

    Verlander pitched like a motherfucker the entire year. It wasn’t even close.

    And he deserved the MVP. The Tigers would have been nothing without him nut with him they made the playoffs. Blue Jays did not do shit with Bautista so how could he have been most valuable? Outstanding performer? Sure. Silver slugger, yes. MVP? No.
    Grandy was great but not an MVP. I will take his year every year but it was not amazingly outstanding like Verlander.

    A starting pitcher impacts the game in hwich he appears probably about 5 – 10 times as much as an everyday player appearing in that game so it all equals out.


    /Yankee fan who is fair and balanced

    • CP says:

      Did you watch the games? Because in Verlander I see a flyball pitcher who benefited from pitching in a large ballpark against weak hitters.

      Not to mention that he pitched for the team that ended with the largest lead on a playoff spot. They won the central by 15 games. The Tigers could have put just about any MLB pitcher in that spot and they’d have made the playoffs (or at least been in contention in the last week).

  22. Ghost says:

    Pitchers MVP is the cy young, I dont’t think they should be eligible for the MVP but that’s just me.

  23. JWT says:

    But Pedro couldn’t win in 99 and Guidry came up short in 78. If those guys didn’t dominate their seasons, I don’t know who did …

    • Holy Ghost says:

      Pedro’s 99′ and 00′ seasons were unreal for an AL East pitcher at the peak of the steroid era

    • Greg says:

      Maybe the mistake of not picking Pedro led to them picking Verlander.

      The writer’s learned from their mistakes.

      I’m surprised they did it but I think it was the right call.

  24. Jumpin' Jack Swisher says:

    No argument here. Verlander was the right choice. Glad the writers had the huevos to do it and not buy into the “pitchers shouldn’t win it” crap.

    • Mister Delaware says:

      Except they didn’t buy it enough to give all other pitchers double digit votes. How can any voter see Verlander as #1 but no other pitcher 2-10 when Sabathia (advanced metrics) and Weaver (2.41 ERA, 235 IP) were pretty damn close? That’s the bigger issue to me, not that Verlander won (when Bautista should have), but that voters so obviously bought the narrative of Verlander then ticked off the 9 best hitters after him. Lack of consistency points to lack of independent thought on the voting.

      • thenamestsam says:

        I agree so much with this. I honestly couldn’t care less whether we consider pitchers eligible for MVP. I would prefer that if they are that a most outstanding hitter award be given equal importance to the cy young, but honestly I don’t care either way. But as a voter, you have to makenup your mind. You either consider pitchers eligible or you don’t. If you do, then verlander can’t possibly be the only pitcher on your ballot. CC may have been worse, but it was pretty darn close and to say that one was definitively the most valuable player in the league and the other isn’t even worthy of being on ballots is just a ridiculous contradiction..

  25. flamingo says:

    Who voted for David Robertson?!

  26. Evan3457 says:

    The MVP vote seems very reasonable to me, except that I think Granderson should’ve finished ahead of Bautista, and possibly Cabrera as well.

  27. Paul says:

    If not for. Granderson the Yankees might have finished in 3rd place. If not for Ellsbury the Red Sox might have finished in 3rd place

  28. Juke Early says:

    Gee whiz! those diamond dinosaur pitcher W’s still mean something to somebody. The neo-stats nazis are no doubt foaming at the mouth; manip-ing numbers all night, trying to figure out how to retroactively give Felix Hernandez the 2010 AL MVP. Phonies.

    What season, calendar year or era it is aside, make no myopic mistake — Verlander’s wins got the Detroits into the playoffs AND him this double dip award.

  29. mike says:

    Robinson Cano hit over .300 is icing on the cake for a second baseman.
    Second basemen tend to get overlooked. Also, he was number two in RBIs. Most importantly he has been a consistent clutch hitter all season long. Even if he did not win, he should have been in the top three.

  30. Paul says:

    Yankee players cannot win MVP awards without having a near historically great season. It is some kind of payroll prejudice …. The Yankees and all of their billionaire players could have won despite the production from their best player. Meanwhile a complete double standard occurs as a third place team’s best player – a team that also has a payroll that far exceeds all other teams – would win the award but for a pitcher Utterly ridiculous

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