The New York Yankees, winners of 95 regular season games, had four players receive votes in the 2012 American League Most Valuable Player Award balloting which was won by AL Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. Robinson Cano finished fourth (149 points), Derek Jeter seventh (73 points), Rafael Soriano 20th (five points) and Raul Ibanez was 24th (one point).
Cano enjoyed another fine all-around season. He hit .313 with a career high 33 home runs, 48 doubles (tied career high), 94 RBIs and 105 runs scored. He finished the season with a .379 OBP, .550 SLG (a career high), wOBA of .397, RC+ of 150 and a WAR of 7.8 which was second in the AL to Mike Trout (10.0) who finished second in the balloting.
Cano already won the Silver Slugger Award and a Gold Glove Award (9.2 UZR/150) this offseason. He has won the Silver Slugger for three straight seasons and four times overall. He is a two-time Gold Glove award winner.
Jeter continued the renaissance of his career which began around the time he belted a home run for his 3,000th hit last season against this year’s Cy Young Award winner David Price. Jeter has not looked back since. He ended the regular season hitting .316 with a Major League leading 216 hits. He laced 32 doubles and roped 15 home runs while scoring 99 runs. Jeter would have added $2 million to his 2014 player option had he placed in sixth or better. He had already tacked on $1.5 million to the original $8 million value by winning this season’s Silver Slugger Award.
Soriano was not the closer for the Yankees until May. He still racked up 42 saves in 46 chances once he took over and could be viewed as one of the MVPs for the Yankees this season, along with Cano and Jeter. Ibanez had a handful of clutch hits during the season and played well over the first month but to garner a vote is more or less insane. The writer placing Ibanez on the ballot should have to give up his right to vote.
Girardi says Jeter may not be ready for Opening Day
Yankees manager Joe Girardi thinks it may be difficult for Jeter to get through his rehab in time to be fully ready for Opening Day. The timetable for Jeter’s return to baseball activities is sometime in March. According to Wallace Matthews from ESPN New York Girardi conveyed the following about Jeter’s rehab taking him into the time frame when players are ready to jump back into baseball activities instead of just conditioning.
Well, just because of the rehab and you have to get the full strength and maybe you’re not able to start doing the things you normally would in January. So I think there’s a little bit of a question, but I think he’ll find a way, because he always has. That’s who he is.”
Jeter has always been a hard worker and will probably feel like he has something to prove by getting back on time. Barring a setback I’d like to think the Captain will be ready for Opening Day.
*Statistics courtesy of FanGraphs*