The Most Valuable Player Awards for each league will be announced today (5:00pm CST) on the MLB Network. Kris Bryant is the favorite for the NL MVP Award over Daniel Murphy (Nationals) and Corey Seager (Dodgers), who was named NL Rookie of the Year on Monday.
The Cubs have finished second, and third, in the NL Manager of the Year and NL Cy Young Awards this week.
While the argument could be made that Anthony Rizzo was the Cubs most important player this season, Kris Bryant was the league’s best player throughout the regular season.
Bryant put up all the MVP numbers during his first full year in the majors. Bryant hit .292/.385/.554 with 35 doubles, three triples and 39 home runs for a .939 OPS. Bryant scored 121 runs and had 102 RBI on the team that won 103 games during the regular season.
Kris Bryant should become the 10th Cubs’ player to be named the league’s best player or National League MVP, the first since Sammy Sosa (1998) 18 years ago.
- The Tribune – Kris Bryant can make ‘M-V-P’ chants become reality
- The Sun-Times – After billboard, goats and curse-buster, is MVP next for Bryant?
BBWAA Awards – Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks
Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks finished behind the Nationals’ Max Scherzer for the NL Cy Young Award that was announced Wednesday. Scherzer was expected to win the award but not by the landslide in which he did. Scherzer received 25 first place votes, 192 total points. Lester had only one first place vote and 102 points and Hendricks received two first place votes and 85 total points.
Max Scherzer had a sensational season, but he was not that much better than either Lester or Hendricks. The BBWAA missed once again.
Jake Arrieta finished ninth in the voting. So the best rotation in baseball had three pitchers finish in the top 10 of the voting for the NL Cy Young Award. The Cubs starting rotation as a team, as Christopher Kamka pointed out, was 2.958 and Scherzer’s ERA was 2.956. The Cubs starting staff had a better ERA than Rick Porcello (3.15), Justin Verlander (3.04) and Corey Kluber (3.14).
Rick Porcello (Red Sox) edged out Justin Verlander (Tigers) and Corey Kluber (Indians) for the AL Cy Young Award.
- Bruce Levine – Cubs’ Lester, Hendricks finish second, third in NL Cy Young Race
- Comcast SportsNet – Max Scherzer would trade Cy Young for World Series rings Cubs will give Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks
- ESPN Chicago – Did Cy Young voters show enough appreciation for Lester and Hendricks?
- The Sun-Times – Scherzer beats out Lester, Hendricks for NL Cy Young Award
According to a report from the New York Post, the Yankees are among the teams that have reached out to Jason Hammel. The Yankees are looking to add starting pitching and will likely go the free agent route to do so this winter.
The New York Post reported that teams have contacted Octagon, Hammel’s agents, “looking for medical reports” on their client. Hammel pitched well during the season but missed his last start and did not appear on any of the Cubs’ three postseason rosters.
Jason Hammel is expected to sign a multi-year contract with a higher AAV than the $12 million that he would have made next season with the Cubs. Jim Bowden thinks Hammel will sign a three-year, $39 million contract.
Tom Ricketts – Steve Bartman
During an interview with Bob Nightengale, Tom Ricketts said the Cubs plan to reach out to Steve Bartman to put closure on Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS.
“I’m sure we’ll reach out to him at the right time and I’m sure we’ll figure something out that provides closure for everybody. Hopefully, we can make it work.”
Ricketts further explained, “But you know, I never focused on ghosts or curses or Bartmans or any of that stuff. It’s always been about needed a better team on the field.”
- Bob Nightengale – Cubs owner Tom Ricketts revels in World Series: ‘Put lovable loser crap to bed’
News, Notes and Rumors
• Tom Verducci reported the end of the Cubs’ title drought has unleashed a flood of emotions.
• Tom Verducci will release a new book on the 2016 Cubs entitled “The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse.”
• Vin Scully, Michael Jordan, Bruce Springsteen, Robert Redford, Robert De Niro, Lorne Michaels, Ellen DeGeneres, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tom Hanks are among this year’s recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The awards will be presented at the White House on November 22nd.
• With Javier Baez, Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor committed to play for Puerto Rico in the WBC, Joel Sherman posted a solution for the team having too many shortstops.
• Hardball Talk reported on the “relief ace” and the right to say no.
• Bob Nightengale reported new salary flexibility could let Yankees bring back Aroldis Chapman.
• Mark Melancon met with the Giants last week and could land with San Francisco. The Giants have said they will sign one of the three big free agent closers. Buster Olney reported if the bidding for Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen hits record levels, as expected, the Giants will not be involved in either of the two and could turn to Melancon.
• The Dodgers have talked to the Tigers about Ian Kinsler according to Jon Paul Morosi. Kinsler has no-trade rights and will not waive them without receiving an extension.
• Catcher Jason Castro is garnering a lot of attention. The free agent backup catcher is being pursued by at least five teams and has offers on the table. The Braves and Twins are among the teams to show the most interest in him.
• Kristopher Negron has left the Cubs organization and signed a minor league contract with the Diamondbacks. Negron spent all of the 2016 season with Triple-A Iowa. Negron hit .256/.308/.403 with 20 doubles, four triples and nine home runs for a .711 OPS in 117 games.
Anthony Rizzo has already gotten back to work.
There ain't no rest for the wicked ???? day one in the books. pic.twitter.com/3YdFzPXkPN
— Anthony Rizzo (@ARizzo44) November 17, 2016
— Funny Or Die (@funnyordie) November 16, 2016
This Day in Cubstory
2015 – Joe Maddon was named NL Manager of the Year by the BBWAA
2013 – Kris Bryant was named MVP of the Arizona Fall League
2011 – Dale Sveum was named the 52nd manager in franchise history. Sveum replaced Mike Quade in the dugout.
2010 – Cubs signed free agent Scott Rice
2010 – Cubs released Micah Hoffpauir
2000 – Cubs released Ben Ford
1992 – Cubs traded Alex Arias and Gary Scott to the Marlins for Greg Hibbard
1992 – Rockies selected Joe Girardi from the Cubs in the 1992 expansion draft
1992 – Rockies selected Ryan Hawblitzel from the Cubs in the 1992 expansion draft
1983 – Scott Moore, born
1978 – Darnell McDonald, born
1969 – Cubs traded Oscar Gamble and Dick Selma to the Phillies for a PTBNL and Johnny Callison. The Phillies sent Larry Colton to the Cubs in January 1970 to complete the trade.
1964 – Mitch Williams, born
1949 – Cubs selected Johnny Klippstein from the Dodgers in the Rule 5 Draft
1947 – Cubs selected Dewey Adkins from Atlanta (Southern Association) in the minor league draft
1942 – Cubs purchased Bennie Warren from the Phillies
1940 – Jimmie Wilson is named manager of the Cubs