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An All-Yankees MVP ballot

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Misc on Nov 14, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

This is a pretty dumb exercise. How’s that for the opening line of a blog post?

Tonight, the year’s final BBWAA Awards are being announced. The Most Valuable Players will be revealed on MLB Network, and we can be fairly certain Robinson Cano’s name will be fairly high on the American League list. He won’t be top three — we know that for sure — but top five doesn’t seem out of the question. With Rookie of the Year and Cy Young, I came up with an All-Yankees ballot. So, naturally, I tried to the same for MVP. It’s horribly depressing and gets pretty pointless by the time you reach No. 2 on the list. It becomes entirely pointless after No. 7 or so.

But, I started this whole thing, so I might as well finish it. Here, then, is my All-Yankees MVP ballot. Yuck.

Robinson Cano1. Robinson Cano
Obviously. I don’t think I’m allowed to reveal anything about my actual MVP ballot, but I imagine it’s safe to say that Cano is on it, and he’s the only Yankees player on it. I imagine that will be the case on almost every ballot, unless someone decided to put a ton of emphasis on the final two months and give Alfonso Soriano a bottom-of-the-ballot stamp of approval. As for Cano, he was clearly the Yankees best player last year. Needs no explanation.

2. Brett Gardner
I suppose you could make case for either of the next two names being bumped up to this spot, but I’ve always had a hard time voting a starting pitcher ahead of an everyday player on an MVP ballot. It can certainly happen, but I think the impact has to be overwhelming for a guy who plays every fifth day. In the end, Kuroda wasn’t overwhelming, and Gardner turned in a perfectly strong season at the top of the order. There were only two consistent sources of offense this year, and Gardner was one of them.

3. Hiroki Kuroda
For four months, Kuroda was a Cy Young candidate. He was the Yankees most reliable starter — and he was a dominant starter — until his year went badly off the tracks in the final two months. Even with that ugly finish, though, Kuroda still finished with good numbers across the board, remarkably similar to what he did in 2012. He was awfully good, until he suddenly wasn’t.

4. Alfonso Soriano
Played in 58 games for the Yankess, yet a case could be made that Soriano is too low on this list. He finished second on the team in home runs and tied for fourth in RBI. Until the final two weeks or so, it seemed that the addition of Soriano — along with some guys finally off the disabled list — just might be enough to push the Yankees into the playoffs. He was incredibly valuable. He was just playing in a different city most of the year.

5. Ivan Nova
Remember when I wrote that I have a hard time putting starting pitchers ahead of everyday players on an MVP ballot? Well, here’s where the reality of the 2013 Yankees begins to kick in. It’s awfully hard to put any other position player ahead of Nova, whose positive impact was limited to a window not much bigger than Soriano’s. Nova was terrific in the second half, and helped the Yankees stay in the race until late September.

Mariano Rivera6. Mariano Rivera
For the record, I think relievers are also a fairly awkward fit on MVP ballots. It’s just hard to compare pitchers against position players — drastically different players with completely opposite methods of production — but Rivera was once again a steady force, bringing dependability in the ninth inning and helping make the Yankees bullpen perhaps their most consistent strength throughout the season. He was great, one last time.

7. Dave Robertson
In a lot of ways, Robertson was just as good or better than Rivera, but Rivera gets the nod for handling that ninth inning. Depending on how the Yankees construct their bullpen next season, it could be interesting to see how the setup role is viewed going forward. Robertson kind of slid into the role quietly, then he took absolute control of it. Now, if Robertson moves into the closer role, is the eighth inning going to feel like an equally difficult job to fill? Rivera’s shoes are impossible to fill, but Robertson’s aren’t exactly easy to fill.

8. Andy Pettitte
Left him off my Cy Young ballot. Maybe it was an oversight. Maybe it wasn’t. Mostly, I suppose, it doesn’t matter one way or the other. For this ballot, I’m putting Pettitte on for being perfectly solid all the way through. He was a good No. 3 starter, which is exactly what he was supposed to be. Nothing fancy, and nothing flashy, at least not the final start of his career when he went all nine innings against the Astros. One of the highlights of the season, for sure.

9. Lyle Overbay
Now we’re getting into the just-pick-a-guy section of the ballot. I’m going to with Overbay for a few reasons. For starters, when the Yankees got off to that strong start and seemed like one of the biggest surprises in baseball, Overbay was a huge part of it. His production far exceeded expectations in the the first half, so much so that the Yankees tried him in right field just to keep his bat in the lineup. Also, I’m putting Overbay on the ballot because he was second on the team in RBI, third in homers and third in doubles. Competition might not have been tough, but he was more productive than most of his teammates. The Yankees needed offense in the worst way, and Overbay supplied at least a little bit.

10. Ichiro Suzuki
Do you realize Ichiro had a positive WAR this season? He was, apparently, better than a replacement-level player. So that’s something. He did have more hits than all of the Yankees except Cano and Gardner, and he did steal some bases, and he was able to fill-in as a center fielder from time time, and he did have a few stretches when he was legitimately productive. But mostly, putting a .262/.297/.342 corner outfielder on a list like this is just dumb. That’s why it’s a dumb exercise. I warned you from the very beginning.

Associated Press photos

 
 

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29 Responses to “An All-Yankees MVP ballot”

  1. MTU November 14th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    Ichiro gets the marketing MVP for bringing in so much Japanese business.

  2. mick November 14th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    How about an All-Steroid team?

  3. MTU November 14th, 2013 at 3:47 pm

    Sorry. I’m out.

    Got run a few errands.

    Be back later.

  4. MTU November 14th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    An all-steroid Team would really be big, hairy monsters.

    :)

  5. mick November 14th, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I am sure there would be an owner who would entertain an All-Steroid team.
    As a form of expansion, make any player who is caught join this team after his suspension, which should be lengthened to 1 year.
    This would give the new owner til 2015 to accumulate enough players to field a team.

  6. jacksquat November 14th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    MTU says:November 14, 2013 at 12:15 pm“What do you think?”I think your post is way too long.

    Imagine if he had put each sentence on a separate line. ;)

  7. jacksquat November 14th, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Technically speaking, if there is no agreement between MLB and NPB, what is stopping a MLB team from signing a Japanese player who decides to “defect”?

  8. chicken little November 14th, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    jacksquat November 14th, 2013 at 4:41 pm

    Technically speaking, if there is no agreement between MLB and NPB, what is stopping a MLB team from signing a Japanese player who decides to “defect”?

    – probably a breach of contract claim that the japanese team can bring against the player.

  9. trisha - true pinstriped blue November 14th, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    Realistically speaking, people from Japanese cultures are likely the last ones who would defect. It would be a sign of dishonor to do something like that. JMO

  10. Chambliss November 14th, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    It seems a little too convenient to me that now that the Yankees are rumored to be able to use some financial muscle to get a very good pitcher with reduced luxury tax consequences, suddenly the system which would allow this to happen may no longer exist.

  11. blake November 14th, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    jacksquat says:
    November 14, 2013 at 4:41 pm
    Technically speaking, if there is no agreement between MLB and NPB, what is stopping a MLB team from signing a Japanese player who decides to “defect”?

    Nothing if he retires I don’t think

  12. blake November 14th, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    But it would probAbaly strain the relationship between the two leagues

  13. chicken_stanley November 14th, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    hello brother chicken!

  14. jacksquat November 14th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Breach of contract, if there is one, would be between the Japanese player and the Japanese team.

  15. blake November 14th, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    10. Ichiro Suzuki
    Do you realize Ichiro had a positive WAR this season? He was, apparently, better than a replacement-level player.

    His WAR was all defense and these cases are a weakness of WAR in general IMO. A no bat/good defense corner outfielder just isn’t that valuable. Ichiro was terrible in 2013

  16. trisha - true pinstriped blue November 14th, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    “It seems a little too convenient to me that now that the Yankees are rumored to be able to use some financial muscle to get a very good pitcher with reduced luxury tax consequences, suddenly the system which would allow this to happen may no longer exist.”

    Happy you said that. The Sux godfather, Uncle Bud, and a vengeful Joe Torre (still miffed at Cashman for someone perceived slight) make a formidable team…

  17. chicken_stanley November 14th, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Say we stay under 189 this year and re-set the LT % in order to open the purse strings in ’15. A link to a list of FAs in ’15 is below… who do we throw the cabbage at?

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....gents.html

  18. Wave Your Hat November 14th, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    The Yanks have done so well with previous postings that I am sure all MLB is just petrified that the Yanks will win the Tanaka bidding.

  19. Giuseppe Franco November 14th, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    Wave Your Hat November 14th, 2013 at 6:11 pm

    The Yanks have done so well with previous postings that I am sure all MLB is just petrified that the Yanks will win the Tanaka bidding.

    —–

    Ditto. All the conspiracy stuff is bunk.

  20. chicken_stanley November 14th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    Looking at the list of FAs in ’15 makes me think signing Choo is very important. The existing Yankee outfielders are likely gone after ’14 and I don’t see any FAs that will be available that I like better than Choo. Maybe a Yankee farmhand or 2 will be ready but even so – Choo looks like a great fit.

  21. Hankflorida November 14th, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    chicken_stanley November 13th, 2013 at 9:28 pm
    Hi Hank. Hope you’re doing well.
    I’d be ok if we had a team that manufactures runs… In 2013 we had a team that TRIED to manufacture runs and failed

    Sorry to get back to you so late, but you bring up a good argument that the Yankees failed in putting a team on the field that could manufacture runs. I know it is cheaper to have slap hitters throughout the lineup with speed, but does Yankee Stadium fit this style of play. History says that the Yankees have always won with power, and to change course because a team with speed and defense coincides with getting below the cap may not be the prudent move. The Brooklyn Dodgers did it when they moved to California, so the question that most of us should be asking is can the Yankees do the same thing and win with this new look as the Bronx is not Chavez Ravine?

  22. yankinvegas November 14th, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    Unless this posting situation is fixed well before spring training, this justifies my belief that MLB truly hates the NY Yankees.
    Why are they so afraid of a potential dynasty? A high tide rises all boats. This parity stuff is garbage. This is America – financial advantages are part of the deal that we all live with.
    MLB under Selig has a system in place that destroys the motivation for a team to want to excel and creates a different champion every year. The only thing that these “championship” teams have in common is that they are all mediocre and incapable of repeating the following season.
    There is NO WAY that the Red Sox will be a factor next year. The 2013 season was the most boring, inconsequential season in my memory. And, unfortunately for the future of the game, will be duplicated many times in the upcoming years.
    This is Bud Selig’s legacy. Shame on him

  23. chicken_stanley November 14th, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    Hi Hank. My biggest problem with a team devoid of power is the difficulty in mounting a rally. In a traditional Yankee lineup a BB and a blast gets you 2 runs quickly. In a lineup without power it may take 3 or 4 batters to achieve the same result. Teams without power or “National League” style teams have been and can be successful but you really need a lockdown pitching staff.

  24. yankinvegas November 14th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Trish, whatever enmity that Joe Torre has for the Yankees is a result of Torre’s terrible managing during the latter half of his tenure.
    The man is most responsible for the hideous embarrassment of 2004. He humiliated his bes player in 2006 and burned out countless quality relief pitchers.
    The mere fact that he will be elected to the HoF in the next few weeks, while George Steinbrenner will still be on the outside looking in is an affront to the history of the game.
    How can anyone respect a sport that includes Bowie Kuhn and soon enough Bud Selig in its shrine and keeps its doors closed for Marvin Miller who did more to influence baseball than any person in history with the possible exception of Babe Ruth?

  25. Pat M. November 14th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Tricia……Joe Torre’s issues are with Randy Levine, plain and simple. For some reason nobody in the NYC media circles really want to open that door in fear of the consequences from the up stair offices at 161st and River Ave.

  26. TheStraw November 14th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    MarkFeinsand@NYDN
    The MLB/Japan posting process is not in danger of falling apart, per a source. Masahiro Tanaka will be posted this winter. #Yankees

  27. jacksquat November 14th, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    5:18pm: The posting arrangement isn’t in jeopardy of falling apart, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports (all Twitterlinks).  The issue amongst the owners was that some small-market owners wished for posting fees to be counted against the luxury tax.  This couldn’t happen, however, unless the collective bargaining agreement was changed, and the MLBPA informed the owners that they weren’t going to re-open the CBA.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/.....ached.html

  28. chicken_stanley November 14th, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    The issue amongst the owners was that some small-market owners wished for posting fees to be counted against the luxury tax

    ——————

    I am sick of the whining of the small market teams. Check out the link below:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/da.....n-history/

  29. chicken_stanley November 14th, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    more fun to be had on the next one —–>


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