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Who Should win the Rookie of the Year Awards? Who Will?

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I do these “who should win”/”who will win” posts for the major awards every year, but never have I had one where there was no argument whatsoever. Tonight when the Rookie of the Year Award for each league is announced (6PM Eastern, MLB Network), it will be Cody Bellinger in the National League and Aaron Judge in the American League. They both should win and both will win, and it should be unanimous.

Nothing against the other finalists, of course. In the NL Josh Bell (.255/.334/.466 26 HR 90 RBI) and Paul DeJong (.285/.325/.532 25 HR, 65 RBI) each had the sorts of seasons that have, in the past, won Rookie of the Year Awards. In the AL, preseason favorite Andrew Benintendi (.271/.352/.20 HR, 90 RBI)  and Trey Mancini (.293/.338/.488 25 HR, 78 RBI) did the same. It’s just that they didn’t have historically great seasons like Bellinger and Judge, eliminating all suspense whatsoever.

Bellinger, who was not called up until late April and who did not have a set position until a couple of weeks after making his debut, went on to lead the NL Champion Dodgers in home runs with 39, RBI with 97 and slugging percentage at a hefty .581. He trailed only Giancarlo Stanton in homers in the senior circuit, setting a new rookie record for homers in the NL as well. The previous mark — 38 — was held by Frank Robinson (1956) and Wally Berger (1930). He finished in the top ten in the NL in slugging (6th), adjusted OPS (9th), extra base hits (8th), intentional walks (6th), and at bats per homer (2nd). He was the NL Player of the Week twice. He didn’t turn 22 until the dang All-Star break.

Judge’s rookie resume was even more impressive. It’s one that gives him a good shot at not just the Rookie of the Year Award, but MVP honors as well.

Judge led the American League with 52 homers, breaking Mark McGwire’s record of 49 rookie homers, set in 1987. He led the American league in homers, walks, and runs. He was second in bWAR, second in on-base percentage, second in slugging, third in total bases, second in RBI, first in OPS, second in adjusted OPS, fourth in extra base hits, second in intentional walks, first in at bats per homer, and fourth in putouts for a right fielder. He was likewise in the top 3-5 in a host of other, more esoteric sabermetric categories. He just won the Silver Slugger Award. He was the June and September AL Player of the Month. He led the league in strikeouts too, but we’ll let that slide.

So, no, there will be no suspense in the runup to this evening’s Rookie of the Year Award announcement. But it was worth admiring Bellinger and Judge’s seasons once again all the same. If you want to argue about an award, come back this time tomorrow when we argue about the Manager of the Year trophy.

Giants, Cardinals reportedly have offers on the table for Giancarlo Stanton

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We’re entering what is typically one of the slowest news weeks in the baseball calendar. Occasionally some big free agents sign around now. For example, it was 20 years ago today Andres Galarraga signed with the Braves, and I still remember being in an airport on the way home to visit my parents when I heard the news. I’m an old man.

The biggest news that is likely to happen this offseason is Giancarlo Stanton being traded. That hasn’t happened yet, but here are the latest bits of news on that:

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Cardinals have made a formal trade offer to the Marlins for Stanton. No word what they’re offering, but the clubs have been in discussion for some time and it has been reported that the Marlins are the most interested in doing a deal with St. Louis due to the prospects they could send to Miami. There is a sense, however, that Stanton would be hesitant to approve a trade to the Cardinals because he prefers to play on the West Coast;

The Giants play on the west coast, and over the weekend they were reported to be the “most aggressive team” in trade talks for Stanton at the moment. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants have likewise made an offer. Their farm system is nowhere near as stocked as that of the Cardinals, so it’s unclear whether they have the prospects to make Miami happy. They could, of course, eat a lot of Stanton’s $295 million contract to make up for that, of course, but (a) doing so would put them over the luxury tax; and (b) the Marlins no doubt want to spur a rebuild with a Stanton trade, so if they can’t get some blue chip prospects back in return, what’s the point?

UPDATE: Who knows if this is anywhere close to enough — I’m guessing not — but this is what the Giants reportedly have on the table:

Anyway, that’s where we are as we begin Thanksgiving week.