Mookie Betts




American League MVP

1. Mookie Betts- Red Sox

2. J.D. Martinez- Red Sox

3. Mike Trout- Angels






National League MVP

1. Christian Yelich- Brewers

2. Nolan Arenado- Rockies

3. Javier Baez- Cubs







American League Cy Young

1. Blake Snell- Rays

2. Justin Verlander- Astros

3. Corey Kluber- Indians






National League Cy Young

1. Jacob deGrom- Mets

2. Max Scherzer- Nationals

3. Aaron Nola- Phillies






American League Rookie Of The Year

1. Miguel Andujar- Yankees

2. Shohei Ohtani- Angels

3. Gleyber Torres- Yankees




National League Rookie Of The Year

1. Juan Soto- Nationals

2. Ronald Acuna Jr.- Braves

3. Walker Buehler- Dodgers

MLB: World Series-Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers




American League Manager Of The Year

1. Alex Cora- Red Sox

2. Kevin Cash- Rays

3. Bob Melvin- Athletics




National League Manager Of The Year

1. Craig Counsell- Brewers

2. Brian Snitker- Braves

3. Bud Black- Rockies

ST. PETERSBURG -- Tampa Bay addressed its catching situation Thursday by finalizing a trade for Mike Zunino in a multi-player deal with the Mariners.
The Rays acquired Zunino, outfielder Guillermo Heredia and Minor League lefty Michael Plassmeyer in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smith and Minor League outfielder Jake Fraley.
"What you can do, for myself, is help develop the staff and be back there and give my best effort every day," Zunino said in a conference call Thursday. "To have that recognized and another team see that as an [asset], it's very exciting to bring that to an organization and help them win."
Tampa Bay has a history of catching problems. In recent years, the team has made trades for catchers Rene Rivera and Ryan Hanigan, but both were busts. It signed Wilson Ramos to a two-year deal when he was on the mend following knee surgery. Ramos made the American League All-Star team in 2018 and subsequently was traded to the Phillies.
"We had an idea of our needs, and catcher in particular was an acute one for us," Rays general manager Erik Neander said in a conference call. "We got the sense in the early going that [Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto] was open to talking about Mike. And we've had a variety of conversations over the last year, plus beyond that, with each of the players we're swapping in. I think a lot of the groundwork in terms of the interest level in the various players involved has been there, and just the specific needs for us."
Tampa Bay currently has two catchers on its 40-man roster: Michael Perez and Nick Ciuffo. While the Rays like the abilities of both players, the pair has combined to play in just 40 Major League games. On top of that, both bat left-handed.
Zunino, 27, is a right-handed hitter. Playing in 113 games last season, he batted .201 with 20 home runs and 44 RBIs. His 1.7 defensive WAR ranked eighth among all American League position players, and he was honored Wednesday with the Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award at catcher. Zunino put up those numbers despite twice going on the disabled list last season -- once each for a strained left oblique and a left ankle bone bruise.
"It's a position where I think historically, certainly in recent memory, defense has been really important to us," Neander said. "Mike's someone that defensively, across the board, checks every box that you're looking for.
"Offensively, he's somebody that possesses a lot of power. Profile-wise, you're gonna get power and a lot of it. You know you're gonna get strikeouts and a lot of it. … By and large, offensively, we're expecting to get what his identity has been."
Zunino made $2.975 million in 2018, and he's set to head into his second year of arbitration. He won't be eligible for free agency until after the '20 season.
Zunino joins an organization that has used analytics and unorthodox pitching strategies -- such as the deployment of an opener -- to gain an advantage on the mound. That requires a lot of flexibility and buy-in from the catchers, as well.
"The success they've had doing that speaks volumes to how innovative they are," Zunino said. "We know Tampa's done that for quite some time now. But I'm extremely excited to get to know their staff, to develop those relationships with those pitchers and really learn their thought process with [using an opener]. ... It's a little more cutting edge and new, and it will definitely be a learning curve for me."
Zunino hails from Cape Coral, Fla., roughly two hours south of St. Petersburg. He was the third-overall pick by Seattle in the 2012 Draft out of the University of Florida.
"You can't take away anything from the Rays last year -- when you look at this club and how young they are, competing in the AL East and winning 90 games, it's extremely exciting for me to come over here and hopefully be able to help this club any way I can and make some strides," Zunino said.
"It's definitely a mixed bag of emotions, for sure. When you have the team that drafted you and spent so much time helping you along in your career, you're extremely grateful for that. The Seattle fan base, the front office -- everyone has treated me so well. It hasn't quite settled in yet that we won't be returning there. But at the same time, it's really exciting to see what the next chapter holds."
Heredia served as the Mariners' fourth outfielder in 2018, hitting .236/.318/.342. He figures to fit into a similar role with the Rays, at least with their current roster construction, with Tommy Pham in left, Kevin Kiermaier in center and Austin Meadows being groomed for right.
"You're talking about somebody that by our evaluation is a top-of-the-line defender," Neander said of Heredia. "And it's not just based on pure footspeed. The instincts, the reads, the jumps, the arm, the awareness of how to navigate the outfield, we think is really special. And it's fun to watch."
Heredia has logged just over two years of service time, meaning he won't become arbitration-eligible until after next season, and he will remain under club control through the 2022 season.
Smith, who missed Super Two status this year, won't be eligible for arbitration until next offseason, and he won't become a free agent until after the 2022 season. Acquiring him helps Seattle shed payroll and address a specific need.
Plassmeyer, 22, went 0-1 with a 2.25 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) last season with Class A Short-Season Everett, his first professional season. He recorded 44 strikeouts, good for a 16.50 K/9 ratio, and was named to the Northwest League midseason All-Star team. He was selected by the Mariners in the fourth round of the 2018 Draft out of the University of Missouri.
"He made some interesting strides with his pitch development and velocity while at Missouri," Neander said. "We tracked him over the course of the summer -- not much of a workload over the summer, but we really like the ingredients, and we like the feel to pitch. ... We're hopeful he can be one of the guys we can look up in a couple of years and he's a part of our pitching group at hte Major League level."
Fraley, 23, hit .347/.415/.547 with four home runs and 41 RBIs in 66 games for Class A Advanced Charlotte last season. He missed two months of the season with a left foot injury. Over parts of three seasons in the Minors, he has hit .278/.359/.435 with seven home runs and 73 RBIs. He was selected by the Rays in the Competitive Balance Round B of the 2016 Draft out of Louisiana State University.
Tampa Bay and Seattle have often been trade partners, including a Jan. 11, 2017, deal that sent Smith to the Rays along with shortstop Carlos Vargas and lefty Ryan Yarbrough for lefty Drew Smyly. Smith never actually played for Seattle, as Atlanta had traded him to the Mariners earlier the same day the Rays acquired him. Smith had been a member of the M's for just 77 minutes.
The most recent deal between the two teams was May 25, when the Rays sent closer Alex Colome and veteran outfielder Denard Span to Seattle for Minor League right-hander Tommy Romero and righty Andrew Moore.
Bill Chastain/
MINNEAPOLIS -- Joe Mauer, one of the greatest catchers in MLB history, is set to officially announce his retirement after a storied 15-year career with the Twins that saw him win an unprecedented three American League batting titles as a catcher, the 2009 AL MVP Award, surpass 2,000 career hits and earn six All-Star selections.
Mauer, who following an injury moved to first base for the last five years of his career and had a memorable sendoff on the last day of the 2018 season that saw him serve as a catcher for one pitch, wrote a letter to Twins fans to make the announcement on Friday night. The club and Mauer will hold a news conference to make it official on Monday.  
"After much consideration I have decided to retire from playing baseball," he wrote in his retirement announcement. This decision did not come easily, as baseball always has been, and always will be one of my greatest passions. The last few months of this season were very emotional for me and I wanted to take time to separate some of those emotions and think with a clear frame of mind. The decision came down to my health and my family. The risk of concussion is always there, and I was reminded of that this season after missing over 30 games as a result of diving for a foul ball."
Mauer, 35, took a little more than a month after the season to make his decision, as he didn't want to hamstring the first office and their plans for the offseason. He retires with five AL Silver Slugger Awards and three Gold Glove Awards, hitting .306/.388/.439 with 143 homers, 2,123 hits, 428 doubles, 1,018 runs and 923 RBIs in 1,858 games with the Twins.
Joe Mauer announces retirement after 15 seasons with Twins
He's Minnesota's all-time leader in doubles and is second in hits behind Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett. Mauer is also second all-time among Twins players in Wins Above Replacement, only trailing Hall of Famer Rod Carew, per baseball-reference.
Given how injuries impacted his career, Mauer will have an interesting case for the National Baseball Hall of Fame, as he's still rates as one of the best catchers, according to advanced statistics. Among catchers, he's eighth all-time in WAR, with all seven backstops ahead of him in the Hall of Fame.
Mauer, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 MLB Draft, was the face of the franchise as a local product who grew up in St. Paul. He won his first AL batting title in 2006, and he followed it up by leading the AL in batting average again in 2008 and '09, becoming the first catcher to win three batting titles. His best season came in 2009, when Mauer hit .365/.444/.587, leading the AL in batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage en route to winning the AL MVP Award.
With Mauer set for free agency after that season, the Twins kept him home with an eight-year, $184 million contract that expired after the 2018 season. Mauer was an All-Star again in 2010, '12 and '13, but he suffered a career-altering concussion on Aug. 19, 2013, which changed the trajectory of his career.
Mauer had to move to first base after the concussion, and he was never quite the same hitter he was before the career-altering injury. He had a resurgent 2017 campaign that saw him hit .305/.384/.417 in 141 games while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense at first, but Mauer hit .282/.351/.379 in 127 games in 2018, missing time again with concussion-related issues stemming from a dive at first base.
The decision to retire isn't a surprise, given how the last game of the 2018 season went, as Mauer had an incredible sendoff. His twin daughters, Emily and Maren, met him at first base before the game to give him a hug. He was then given a standing ovation before his first at-bat, and he later delivered a vintage Mauer double to the opposite-field in the eighth.
But the biggest moment came in the eighth, when he served as catcher one last time for one pitch with the White Sox understanding the situation and not swinging. Mauer was emotional throughout the day and it was evident he was likely to retire after the season.
Rhett Bollinger/
NEW YORK -- CC Sabathia had hoped to finish his career in Yankees pinstripes, and the big left-hander is about to have that opportunity.
Sabathia and the Yankees have agreed to terms on a one-year, $8 million deal, has confirmed. The deal has not yet been officially announced because Sabathia must undergo a physical, which is expected to take place on Wednesday.
Like outfielder Brett Gardner, who agreed to a one-year, $7.5 million pact last week, Sabathia had expressed a strong preference for staying with New York. General manager Brian Cashman said that the team's familiarity with the veterans cleared the way for smooth negotiations.
"Since we know the players, we know what we're getting," Cashman said in Carlsbad, Calif. "First and foremost, we feel like they're productive players and they can have a positive impact on that win column for us. ... These are known commodities. We know exactly who they are in that clubhouse, who they are dealing with, our press and our fans, and obviously, most importantly, competing on the field of play. That would be the more vital component."
Though three other clubs are believed to have reached out to the 38-year-old Sabathia, his preference was to remain with the Yankees, for whom he has pitched since 2009. Sabathia earned $10 million this past season.
Sabathia has notched 129 of his 246 career victories with New York, and he has compiled a 3.74 ERA in 284 starts with the franchise. This past season, Sabathia was 9-7 with a 3.65 ERA in 29 starts, striking out 140 in 153 innings while posting his lowest ERA since 2012 (3.38).
Cashman said that he intends to add "multiple" arms to a rotation that now features Sabathia, Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka as locks heading into 2019.
"In CC's case, we have multiple needs in that area," Cashman said. "If we were ready to promote three more Severinos, then I wouldn't be looking in acquisition mode for starting pitching. I'd be saying goodbye to people probably, moreso than not."
Though Sabathia had suggested that he might retire if the Yankees won the World Series in 2018, their elimination in the American League Division Series left no question of his desire to return.
Sabathia underwent a cleanup procedure on his right knee following the season but is expected to be ready to pitch next year. He had similar procedures after the 2010 season, in July 2014 and after the '16 season.
The Yankees have been in contact with the representative for J.A. Happ, who pitched well after being acquired from the Blue Jays in late July. They are also expected to be in the mix for free-agent hurlers Patrick CorbinNathan Eovaldi and Dallas Keuchel, as well as trade possibilities.
"We're going to engage every free agent in the marketplace and assess their price tags and how they may fit for us," Cashman said. "We'll see."
Cashman reiterated that he plans to trade Sonny Gray before the start of the season, believing that the right-hander will be unable to approach his past success while pitching in New York.
"It's been a year and a half," Cashman said. "I'm not going to be Sisyphus pushing the rock up a hill and having it roll back on top of me. It's not working. I'm not going to be willing to continue to walk through the fire and expect it to be a different result.
"So I will reallocate his abilities to some other club for a yet-to-be determined price tag, and he will be good again. Trust me. I believe that, honestly. I think he's a heck of a pitcher. The peripherals prove that. He was a very likable teammate. He's a very successful Major Leaguer, and it's just going to happen somewhere else."
Bryan Hoch/