Mike Trout wins the American League Most Valuable Player Award unanimously

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Angels outfielder Mike Trout has finally won an MVP award. After losing out on the hardware in each of the last two seasons to Miguel Cabrera, Trout was selected unanimously as the American League’s MVP for his superb 2014 campaign. He is the youngest to ever win the award unanimously. Teammates Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick each received down-ballot votes, finishing 17th and 18th, respectively.

Trout led the league in Wins Above Replacement according to both FanGraphs (7.8) and Baseball Reference (7.9). He hit .287/.377/.561 with 16 stolen bases, 36 home runs, and a league-leading 111 RBI. He also led the league in runs scored with 115.

The 22-year-old Trout inked a six-year, $144.5 million contract extension with the Angels back in March. Given today’s report that the Marlins have discussed a $300 million deal with Giancarlo Stanton, the Trout contract might end up being a heck of a bargain.

Current free agent Victor Martinez finished in second place while Indians outfielder Michael Brantley finished third.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.