Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant has been named the 2016 National League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He is the first member of the Cubs to win the award since Sammy Sosa in 1998.
Bryant, 24, had an outstanding follow up to his 2015 campaign for which he won the NL Rookie of the Year Award. This past season, he hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI while leading the league with 121 runs scored across 699 plate appearances.
Though the balloting for awards was done prior to the start of the postseason, it’s worth noting how productive Bryant was in helping the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908. During the playoffs, he hit .308/.400/.523 with five doubles, nine walks, three home runs, eight RBI, 11 runs scored in 75 plate appearances.
Bryant received 29 of 30 first-place votes. Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy finished second in balloting — and got the only other first-place vote — followed by Dodgers rookie shortstop Corey Seager. Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo was fourth and Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado was fifth.
Angels outfielder Mike Trout was named the 2016 American League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers Association of America. He’s the first Angel to win the award since… himself, two years ago. Trout now has four consecutive top-two AL MVP finishes in the last five years.
Trout, 25, had another outstanding year, leading the majors with 123 runs scored, 116 walks, a .441 on-base percentage, and a 174 adjusted OPS (OPS+). He also hit .315 with a .550 slugging percentage, 29 home runs, 100 RBI, and 30 stolen bases in 681 plate appearances. His 10.6 WAR, via Baseball Reference, was also by far the best mark in baseball.
Trout received 19 of 30 first-place votes. Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts finished in second place followed by Astros second baseman Jose Altuve. Blue Jays Josh Donaldson wasn’t far behind followed by Orioles third baseman Manny Machado and Red Sox DH David Ortiz.
Update (6:05 PM EST): It’s a four-year, $52 million deal, per Passan.
The Astros aren’t done. After acquiring catcher Brian McCann from the Yankees, the Astros have signed free agent outfielder Josh Reddick to a contract, Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports. The deal is expected to exceed $50 million in total.
Reddick, 29, started the 2016 season with the Athletics but was sent to the Dodgers ahead of the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline along with starter Rich Hill. Reddick had an .816 OPS with the A’s but could only muster a .643 OPS with the Dodgers.
With Colby Rasmus, Luis Valbuena, and Jason Castro departing to free agency, the Astros were in need of left-handed bats and addressed it on Thursday with McCann and Reddick.