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.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.