Cano, Felix both in Top 10 in AL MVP voting
Robinson Cano finished fifth in the American League MVP voting announced Thursday by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, the top finish by a Mariners player since Ichiro Suzuki won the award in 2001.
Seattle ace Felix Hernandez was 10th in the balloting, the highest MVP finish of his career. Hernandez finished one spot ahead of Indians right-hander Corey Kluber, who edged him for the AL Cy Young Award on Wednesday.
Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager got one 10th place vote in the balloting to finish 20th. Two baseball writers in each AL city – 30 overall – vote for 10 finalists for the award, which was won by Angels center fielder Mike Trout.
Trout was the unanimous first-place winner on all 30 ballots, with Detroit designated hitter Victor Martinez finishing second, following by Indians outfielder Michael Brantley, White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu and Cano. Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays initially was listed ahead of Cano, but the BBWAA later corrected the voting totals and flip-flopped those two. Here’s the full breakdown on the voting.
Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers became the first pitcher to win the National League MVP in 46 years when he beat out Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton for that honor.
The Mariners had previously had only four Top 10 MVP finishers in the 12 seasons since Ichiro won the award in 2001 and three of those went to Ichiro, who finished ninth in 2009, eighth in 2007 and seventh in 2004. Bret Boone was 10th in 2003.
Cano has never won an MVP award, but he’s now finished in the top six in AL voting for five straight years. The 30-year-old second baseman finished third in 2010, sixth in 2011, fourth in 2012 and fifth in 2013 while with the Yankees.
Cano received one second-place vote, from ESPN.com’s Tim Kurkjian, and was named somewhere in the top 10 on 23 of the 30 ballots.
After signing a 10-year, $240 million deal with Seattle, Cano put up a .314/.382/.454 line with 37 doubles, 14 home runs and 82 RBIs while batting third for a Mariners team that improved by 16 wins to 87-75 in 2014. Cano also was a top-three finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove at second base.
Hernandez narrowly missed winning his second AL Cy Young, finishing just behind Kluber in the balloting after going 15-6 with an AL-leading 2.14 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. While pitchers often don’t fare well among some MVP voters, Hernandez was named second on two ballots – by Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and David Brown of Yahoo Sports — and was listed somewhere in the Top 10 by nine of the 30 writers.
Seager had a breakout season, landing his first AL All-Star berth and Gold Glove Award while leading the Mariners with 25 home runs and 96 RBIs. His one 10th place vote came courtesy of Paul White of USA Today.