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American League

2017 Home Run Daily Awards: Most Valuable Player

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It’s time for another award piece!

So far at Home Run Daily we’ve discussed and made predictions for the Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year, and Cy Young.

Now it’s time for the Most Valuable Player. Both leagues promise to have very close races for this particular hardware. That said, here are your 2017 HRD MVPs:

American League

Top Candidates: Jose Altuve- Houston, Aaron Judge- New York, Mike Trout- Los Angeles, Corey Kluber- Cleveland

Votes: Mike (@MikeAddvensky): Jose Altuve, Matthew (@Flat_Manigen74): Jose Altuve, Anthony (@AnthonyDiMoro): Aaron Judge, Me (@somebostonfan): Aaron Judge

We have a tie! Jose Altuve and Aaron Judge are your HRD co-MVPs.

In reality, it’s a two-man race between Altuve and Judge. One of the two men will take home the hardware, it’s only a matter of who. Both had sensational years for their respective teams, and arguments can be made on both sides. We’ll start with Altuve.

Altuve had another great year for the Houston Astros in 2017, picking up 200 hits for the fourth year in a row. He also won his second straight AL batting crown- and third in the last four years- hitting .346. He hit 24 homers, drove in 81, slugged .547, and was the most consistent hitter for the Astros all year. From April to September (in order), he hit .326, .313, .354, .485, .304, and .298- acting as the catalyst for Houston’s offense which scored the most runs in baseball.

For Judge, he had a truly historic rookie season for the New York Yankees. He’s already all but clinched the Rookie of the Year (pending the official announcement), and may add an MVP when it’s all said and done. Judge led the majors this year with 54 homers- a rookie record. His 1.049 OPS was second in the AL to Trout (who played in 41 less games), and he led the league with 127 walks and 128 runs scored.

The first half of the season was truly sensational for Judge, as he capped it off with a Home Run Derby title. He struggled mightily for the next 1.5 months; but once September came around, he carried the Yankees. Judge hit .311/.463/.889 with 15 homers and 32 RBIs in September, leading the Yankees to a 20-8 record in the month to help them seal the AL Wild Card. September’s the most important month of the year for contenders as they often determine who makes the playoffs, and Judge’s September performance didn’t disappoint.

Will the AL MVP go to the smallest player in the game, or (arguably) the biggest? We will find out soon!

National League

Top Candidates: Nolan Arenado- Colorado, Joey Votto- Cincinnati, Giancarlo Stanton- Miami, Paul Goldschmidt- Arizona (*honorable mentions: Charlie Blackmon- Colorado, Bryce Harper- Washington)

Votes: Mike (@MikeAddvensky): Joey Votto, Matthew (@Flat_Manigen74): Joey Votto, Anthony (@AnthonyDiMoro): Giancarlo Stanton, Me (@somebostonfan): Charlie Blackmon

Winning with two votes out of four, Joey Votto is the HRD NL MVP.

Votto had another great season in 2017, which has been a regular occurrence for him since his first full season in 2008. Votto played in all 162 games, hitting .320/.454/.578 with 36 homers, 100 RBIs, and 106 runs scored. His 134 walks led the majors, as did his on-base percentage. He struck out only 83 times giving him 51 more strikeouts than walks, beating his previous career high of eight (143 walks, 135 strikeouts in 2015).

The 34-year-old Votto was one of just six players to appear in 162 games in 2017. It also marked the second time in Votto’s career (2013) that he’s done that.

It was a miserable year for the Reds going just 68-94, but Votto had a WAR of 9.56 to lead the majors. Last year, Mike Trout won the AL MVP for the Angels who were 74-88 as his WAR was 10.5 to lead the game, so we’ll see if that trend continues this season.

Nolan Arenado, Giancarlo Stanton, and everyone else on the top candidates list had great seasons too and all have a good chance of winning. You can read up on their credentials elsewhere, but we’ll end this piece here.

So there you go, your 2017 HRD MVPs. Stay tuned for our Breakout Player of the Year award coming soon!

American League

2019 Trade Deadline Highlights

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In a shocking, last-minute deal, Zack Greinke has a new home (CBS Sports).

This year’s Trade Deadline in the MLB wasn’t as boisterous as previous seasons and might rank as one of the less-exciting ones in history. There was still a good number of high-profile moves, however, and a few big names went on to new homes. Here’s a look at the more notable acquisitions of July 31, 2019 and how they will impact the teams that got the big returns.

Blue Jays trade RHP Marcus Stroman to Mets in exchange for RHP Anthony Kay, RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson

The move that unofficially kicked off trading season was a bit of a head scratcher. It had long been rumored that Toronto was shopping ace Marcus Stroman, but the team he ended up with isn’t exactly a contender. The Mets are currently four games under .500 and may not be vying for the postseason in 2019. The move is likely another part of the Mets rebuilding process, and since Noah Syndergaard stayed put, New York may have a formidable rotation next season.

Indians acquire LHP Scott Moss, OF Yasiel Puig from Reds and OF Franmil Reyes, LHP Logan Allen and IF Victor Nova from Padres, Padres acquire OF Taylor Trammell from Reds, Indians acquire Reds acquire RHP Trevor Bauer from Indians

The literal biggest trade of the day was a this three-team blockbuster. Trevor Bauer firing the ball over the center field wall on Sunday after he was pulled in the fifth inning ended up being the last pitch he threw in an Indians uniform. A day later the Tribe rid itself of his petulance and pulled off a massive trade with intrastate rival Cincinnati as well as San Diego that saw Bauer go to the Reds and Reds top prospect Taylor Tramell go to the Friars. Cleveland received a host of players from both teams, most namely Yasiel Puig, who is ironically also known as a prima donna.

Though Bauer is undeniably talented when he keeps his act together and bolsters the Reds attempts to trend upward, San Diego may have won the trade with Tramell, MLB’s no. 30 overall prospect.

Rays acquire 1B Jesus Aguilar from Brewers in exchange for RHP Jacob Faria

Milwaukee was certainly brewing before the Deadline and made a commendable effort to improve its pitching. GM David Stearns’ most notable move was a straight swap with the Rays that brought back righty Jacob Faria in exchange for power hitting 1B Jesus Aguilar. Aguilar is having a down year but has proven many times that he can be deadly. He gives the Rays the big bat they’ve been seeking in their hunt for a Wild Card berth.

It’s a good move for both sides because it clears Milwaukee’s infield logjam and gives the team another quality starter. Faria never quite broke out in Tampa Bay but a change of scenery always has potential to pay dividends. After having already gotten Jordan Lyles from Pittsburgh on Monday, the Brewers made another move and got Drew Pomeranz from San Fransisco later on Wednesday. Though none of the returns are big name guys, Milwaukee is serious about making another run after coming so close last year.

Cubs acquire OF Nicholas Castellanos from Tigers in exchange for RHP Alex Lange and RHP Paul Richan.

The Cubs made their chances of taking the NL Central back even better with this move. Nicholas Castellanos has been one of the MLB’s more underrated players in recent years, largely because he was on the Tigers after the team’s glory days of the early 2010s ended. Adding him to a lineup that already includes Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras and Javier Baez gives the Cubbies even more firepower, especially given Castellanos success vs. lefty pitchers. It’s also a great move for him personally as he gets to join a contending team at last. The Cubs are vying to appear in the playoffs for a fifth consecutive season, and their chances look pretty good.

Astros acquire RHP Zack Greinke from Diamondbacks in exchange for RHP Corbin Martin, RHP JB Bukauskas, IF Josh Rojas and IF Seth Beer

If Houston was scary good before this trade, they’re terrifyingly good now. The Astros just added Zack Greinke to a rotation that already includes Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole in a last-minute deal that wasn’t announced until after the deadline officially passed. Arizona received a package of four minor leaguers in return as the team is now officially in the rebuilding process.

Like Verlander, Greinke is in the second half of his thirties but has not declined at all and owned a 10-4 record with a 2.90 on a sub-par Diamondbacks team at the time of his departure. The six-time All-Star’s presence gives Houston the best rotation in baseball by far and should get the knees of any upcoming opponent knocking. The MLB said it best on Instagram today, “Facing Houston? You have a problem.”

Notable non-moves:

  • After being heavily rumored as top targets, Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard and Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner are still members of their longtime teams.
  • The Boston Red Sox, whose bullpen has blown 18 saves, made no moves to improve its relief core, to the amazement of the team’s fanbase.
  • The New York Yankees were thought to be Syndergaard’s top suitor, but the team did not acquire any starting pitching to aid Aaron Boone’s struggling rotation.

What was the biggest move of the deadline this year? Be sure to let us know on Twitter @HomeRunDaily.

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American League

Athletics Acquire Tanner Roark

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Tanner Roark

The Oakland Athletics have acquired right hander Tanner Roark from the Cincinnati Reds, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

As part of the deal, outfielder Jamerson Hannah will be heading to Cincinnati, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser, the Reds will pick up $2.1 million of Roark’s remaining salary.

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American League

Astros Acquire Martin Maldonado

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Martin Maldonado

The Houston Astros have acquired veteran catcher Martin Maldonado from the Chicago Cubs, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

As part of the deal, outfielder/second baseman Tony Kemp will be heading to the Cubs, according to the Houston Chronicle’s Chandler Rome.

Maldonado has posted a .217/.285/.349 slash line this season.

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