MLB Midseason Award Winners: Rookie of the Year

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There was no baseball yesterday. There is no baseball today. There will be baseball tomorrow, but not until 7:05 PM, so it’s basically three days without anyone throwing a pitch in anger. Let’s kill the time, then, by arguing about who, if the season ended today, would be your award winners. Next up: Rookie of the Year

We are men of action. Lies do not become us. So I am not going to sit here and pretend that anyone other than Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger had a shot at the Rookie of the Year Award. Judge was covered in the MVP post. Bellinger was not called up until the end of April, and in his 68 games, he’s hit .259 with a .948 OPS, has 14 doubles, a triple, 24 homers and 56 RBI.

Judge would have to be hit by a bus next week to take himself out of contention, and would likely still be the Rookie of the Year favorite unless someone else emerged to put up a historic partial rookie season. Heck, that may not even be enough. Gary Sanchez did it last year and he came in second. Bellinger has a closer pursuer in pitcher Kyle Freeland of the Rockies, but he’s a distant, distant second. He’s tossed 107.1 innings and has a 3.77 ERA. He pitches in Coors Field, however, so that works out to a 133 ERA+. I doubt that’s terribly sustainable, though, as his he has a pretty low strikeout rate and a pretty high walk rate. Also: he’s pitched better in Denver than on the road which is . . . not expected and, again, likely not sustainable.

The Rookie of the Year Awards, barring serious injuries to Judge and Bellinger, will be a coronation, not a contest.

Report: Angels to acquire Ian Kinsler from the Tigers

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Update (7:51 PM ET): ESPN’s Buster Olney says the deal isn’t final yet. Rosenthal says that any delay on this trade is due to Kinsler’s no-trade clause, but he still expects the deal to happen.

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Angels will acquire second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers. It is not known yet what the Tigers will receive in return. Kinsler had to waive his no-trade clause in order for the deal to happen.

Kinsler, 35, hit .236/.313/.412 with 22 home runs, 52 RBI, 90 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 613 plate appearances for the Tigers this past season. He’s in the final year of his contract and will earn $10 million for the 2018 season.

The Angels were certainly looking to upgrade at second base and did so with Kinsler. They were also reportedly interested in Cesar Hernandez of the Phillies.