The Opener: MVP Awards, Outfield Market, Top 50


As MLB awards season comes to a close, here are three things we’ll be watching throughout the day:

1. MVP results announced tonight

The final award announcements for the 2022-23 season come tonight, with the AL and NL Most Valuable Player awards to be announced at 5:00 PM CT. The finalists in the AL are Aaron Judge, Shohei Ohtaniand Jordan Alvarezwhile the NL finalists are Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenadoand Manny Machado. This year’s AL race was particularly noteworthy, with historic seasons going head-to-head; Ohtani has arguably improved his 2021 AL MVP campaign this year as Judge delivered arguably the best offensive season since the days of Barry Bonds. Alvarez, for his part, presented rate numbers that would be stronger in the mix in just about any other year. However, despite truly special seasons from all three finalists in the AL, Judge appears to be the favorite after setting a new AL home run record. In the NL, Goldschmidt flirted with the Triple Crown at one point, but his season ended on a low note, as he hit only .245/.333/.383 after the calendar flipped to September. That may have opened the door a bit for Arenado and Machado, who superimposed extremely similar profiles in 2022. Machado’s .298/.366/.531 season line is almost indistinguishable from Arenado’s .293/.358/.533 line.

2. How the Teoscar trade is changing the market

Yesterday saw the Mariners and the Blue Jays work out a trade to send Teoscar Hernandez to Seattle, potentially shaking up the outfield market significantly. With Hernandez no longer in the right field every day, the Blue Jays are more likely to seek help in the field, with George Springerand Lourdes Gurriel Jr. their only regular outfielders as things stand. Both Cavan Biggio and Whit Merrifield saw time in the outfield last year, but with the Blue Jays rumored to be already in the market for another outfielder even before yesterday’s trade, they’ll likely only get more aggressive in their pursuit as the offseason progresses. The other side of the trade also has market implications as Seattle is now even deeper in outfield options. Hernandez will probably fit in right field with Julie Rodriguez in center and Jesse Winker (assuming he doesn’t get traded in himself) left, but the Mariners do Jarred Kelenic, Kyle Lewis, Taylor Trammeland Sam Haggerty further down the depth chart, not to mention the outlook Cad Marlowe and Zach DeLoach, which could be ready for big league action sometime next year. Needless to say, Seattle’s plethora of outfielders could draw trading interests, and Hernandez’s addition makes it all the more likely that baseball operations president Jerry Dipoto will do business from that depth.

3. Talk about the Top 50 with Rob Bradford

MLBTR’s annual Top 50 Free Agents list and predictions dropped last week, and entries for our Free Agent Prediction contest were due last night — but that doesn’t mean all the Top 50-related stuff is already in the rearview mirror. MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes and Steve Adams joined Audacy Sports and WEEI’s Rob Bradford at the “Baseball Isn’t Boring” podcast to discuss the Top 50 list and the free-agent class in general. You can listen to and follow their performance here Baseball is not boring and follow Rob on Twitter.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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