Few awards in sports spark more arguments than Most Valuable Player. What is the definition of “valuable?” Can a pitcher win it? Do you have to lead your team to the playoffs to be serious considered? How much do defense, baserunning, and other variables matter when it comes to baseball. There’s still no good answer to these questions — it’s all in the eye of the beholder, or in this case, the voter.
Even though we don’t know whom the voters will favor, we can predict which players will be serious candidates to win the award in both the American and National League. Here are five players from each who have a chance of taking home the awards come season’s end.
5) Jonathan Schoop, Orioles
Schoop isn’t getting a lot of publicity right now, but he’ll probably get some votes in the AL MVP race. The Orioles second baseman has posted a very strong season, hitting over .300 with 31 home runs and 102 RBIs. He’s been Baltimore’s best player, and an integral part of pulling them back into the wild-card race. If Baltimore can make the playoffs, Schoop may get even more attention.
4) Aaron Judge, Yankees
As the pennant race heats up in Major League Baseball, the league’s various contenders find themselves in different spots. The likes of the Houston Astros, Washington Nationals, and Los Angeles Dodgers have more or less wrapped up their divisions. Aside from those teams, there are several franchises that still have a lot to play for. These teams are competing for division titles or wild-card spots.
Here are eight players on teams that may or may not make the playoffs. Each of these players will have a major say in what happens with their team.
1) Mike Trout, Angels
Finally, we get to see Trout in an actual playoff race again. The surprising Angels are right in the thick of the American League wild card race. They are competing despite the fact that Trout missed a month and a half of the season.
The superstar outfielder is the type of player who is talented enough to single-handedly lift his team into the postseason, and he’s certainly trying to do so. With seven home runs in 22 August games, Trout has been pacing the Angels in what may somehow be his best career season yet. If he keeps it up, an Angels playoff appearance may not be as far-fetched as it once seemed.
2) Aroldis Chapman, Yankees
The Philadelphia 76ers enjoy having Mike Trout in their court.
Trout’s Los Angeles Angels headed from Anaheim to Seattle on Thursday after beating the Orioles earlier in the day. The team decided to do a basketball-themed road trip where all the players dressed in basketball uniforms.
Trout, who is from New Jersey and a fan of Philadelphia sports teams, donned his Sixers gear and proudly shared the photo on social media:
And here’s the whole team:
The Sixers saw the tweet, as well as Trout’s “Trust the Process” hashtag, and they had a great reply.
It’s never a bad thing to have the best player in baseball be a fan of your team. In fact, it’s quite cool. And we do have to wonder how Trout would fare in an NBA game.
Mike Trout received a pretty disgusting birthday present from his teammates on Monday.
Trout turned 26 on Monday, which is incredible given all he’s already accomplished in the game. That mattered little when his Los Angeles Angels teammates dumped all kinds of junk on him in the shower as a birthday gag:
We saw everything from eggs to Slurpees to baby powder and a coffee product dumped on him. The egg getting smashed on him probably left a mark, too.
It’s good to know that Trout is such a good sport about it.
This year’s MLB All-Star Game will have a large, fish-sized void.
The Angels announced on Monday that Mike Trout will not be participating in 2017 All-Star festivities as he continues to rehab his thumb injury.
Trout, who was just announced on Sunday to have been voted in as a starter for his sixth consecutive American League All-Star team, has been out since late May after suffering a torn left thumb ligament that required surgery. The Angels had been optimistic that the two-time AL MVP might be able to return before the Midsummer Classic, but they have apparently chosen to take the route of caution instead.
Mike Trout is continuing to make strides in his rehab from thumb surgery, and the Los Angeles Angels star says he is ready to return to the lineup.
Mentally, at least.
Trout joined the Angels for their short road trip to play the Los Angeles Dodgers this week, and he sat down with FOX Sports West before Thursday’s game. Having missed 35 games this season, Trout said he is “anxious” to return.
“Each and every day gets better,” Trout said. “I’m happy with how the process has been so far. Each and every day I come in and it feels a little better.
“I’m ready to go. I’ve gotta see what the doctors and trainers say. I’ve gotta do what’s right for my body and what’s right for my thumb. You don’t want to push it, but I’m anxious to get out there. … Obviously I say I’m ready to go, but it’s still a little bit away.”
Trout said he has been taking swings and playing long toss, but he admitted there are some days when his thumb still feels sore while playing catch.
Trout left the Angels’ game against the Marlins on May 28 with a thumb injury. He was placed on the DL a day later and then underwent the surgery on May 31. The initial timetable was for Trout to miss 6-8 weeks, but he said his goal was to return before the All-Star break, which begins on July 10. The Angels are not going to rush him back.
Mike Trout continues to make progress in his rehab from thumb surgery.
Trout joined the Angels for their current road trip, which sees the team playing up the road from Anaheim against the Dodgers. Trout has been doing some hitting drills, such as hitting off a tee. According to the LA Times’ Pedro Moura, Trout hit soft toss on Tuesday and will begin taking batting practice next.
Trout left the Angels’ game against the Marlins on May 28 with a thumb injury. He was placed on the DL a day later and then underwent the surgery on May 31. The initial timetable was for Trout to miss 6-8 weeks, but he said his goal was to return before the All-Star break, which begins on July 10. He has less than two weeks to make good on that statement.
Mike Trout will be just 28 years old when he becomes eligible to hit free agency after the 2020 season, and the Los Angeles Angels are going to have to pay an astronomical amount of money in order to keep him. According to a report, Trout proposed an idea back in 2014 that could have prevented him from ever having to sign another MLB contract.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was told by sources that Trout proposed the idea of a “lifetime deal” when he was negotiating his last contract extension with the Angels. The idea would have been to sign something like a 14- or 15-year deal rather than the six-year pact the two sides eventually agreed to.
Angels owner Arte Moreno apparently felt a deal of that length for a 23-year-old player with only two full seasons under his belt was a bit too risky.
Trout set himself up for life with that rare, record six-year deal and will have a “second bite at the apple,” after he broached an extreme mega deal in talks (14 or 15 years, according to people familiar with those talks) before word came back that Angels owner Arte Moreno decided not to go for the lifetime deal for the two-year superstar, but hardly anyone’s repeating that strategy. It’s no certainty they would have been able to work it out the super mega deal, anyway, as Trout seemed pleased at the middle ground of six. But it was quite an interesting thought put forth by Trout’s side.
As Heyman notes, the Angels had already committed a combined $442.5 million to Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton and C.J. Wilson at the time. In hindsight, none of those were good deals.
Pujols is signed through 2021 at an average annual salary of $24 million. He’ll make $29 million when he’s 40 and $30 million when he’s 41, which is a disturbing thought for a 37-year-old who is hitting just .239 with a .286 OBP and .382 slugging percentage — all career-lows by far. Hamilton is gone and Wilson was average, but never the ace L.A. expected him to be.
Trout could still end up signing an extension with the Angels before he hits free agency, but it will cost the team more than it would have if they worked out a lifetime deal. While he probably won’t get as much as this soon-to-be free agent, his contract will be eye-popping. If for some reason the Angels lose Trout, the “lifetime deal” report will infuriate fans.
H/T CBS Sports
Mike Trout is on his way to making a return to the Los Angeles Angels.
Trout is set to join the Angels for their road trip next week, manager Mike Scioscia said Saturday. The team heads to New York and then Boston for series with the Yankees and Red Sox.
Trout is making his way back from thumb surgery to repair a torn UCL. The two-time MVP underwent the operation at the end of May. Trout was given a 6-8 week recovery timetable, but he has said his goal is to return before the All-Star Game on July 11.
Trout, 25, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 14 doubles and 16 home runs in 47 games this season in what was shaping up as another MVP effort.
A significant thumb injury is not going to stop Mike Trout from playing the way he always plays.
Trout, who will be out for six to eight weeks after injuring his thumb on a headfirst slide, said Saturday that he has no intention of cutting headfirst slides out of his game once he returns to the field, saying it simply feels more comfortable for him.
“I think I just have to have more control when I dive headfirst,” Trout said, via ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez. “They say [sliding feetfirst] doesn’t slow you down, but it feels like it slows you down. … Diving headfirst, you have more room that you can trick them a little bit.”
It’s very difficult for a player to break a habit they’ve had since they started playing the game, and Trout is no exception. Even the risk of complications isn’t enough to deter him from playing the way he’s accustomed.