The third-annual Rawlings Platinum Glove Awards were announced earlier this evening, recognizing the best defensive player in each league. Orioles third baseman Manny Machado won the award for the American League while Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons took home the honors for the National League.
Only those who won Rawlings Gold Glove Awards were eligible for the Platinum Glove Award. The winners were determined by a combination of a fan vote and SABR’s Defensive Index metric.
As you’ll see in the voting results below, Machado ran away with the award for the American League while Simmons won in a very close vote over Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina and Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez for the National League. Molina and Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre were the previous winners in each league.
Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.
LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.
There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.
The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.