Bryce Harper is unanimous winner of 2015 National League MVP Award

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

It has been a foregone conclusion for a while, but the Baseball Writers Association of America made it official Thursday by announcing Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper as the unanimous winner of the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player Award. He’s the first player in franchise history (including the Expos) to take home the award and the first for a team in Washington, D.C. since Roger Peckinpaugh in 1925.

Harper received all 30 first-place votes, becoming the seventh unanimous MVP of all-time. He’s the youngest one to do it. As for the other finalists, Paul Goldschmidt finished second overall in the balloting while Joey Votto finished third.

While the Nationals underachieved in 2015, Harper broke out with a historically great season, batting .330/.460/.649 with 42 home runs and 99 RBI. He led the majors in bWAR (9.9), on-base percentage (.460), slugging percentage (.649), and OPS (1.109) while tying Colorado’s Nolan Arenado for first in the National League with 42 home runs. He led the National League in runs (118) while only Cincinnati’s Joey Votto bested his total of 124 walks. Video game numbers all around.

It feels like Harper has been around forever, so it’s easy to forget how young he is and how special his season was in context of that. His 1.109 OPS will go down as second-best all-time at age-22 or younger, behind only Ted Williams, who had a 1.287 OPS in 1941. In September, he became just the seventh player to reach 40 home runs at age-22 or younger. After turning 23 in October, Harper is the youngest player to win the NL MVP since Johnny Bench in 1970.

Even putting Harper’s age aside, his season carved out a impressive place in history. His 195 OPS+ now ranks 71st all-time for a single season. It was the best mark in the majors since Barry Bonds in 2004. I guess Harper won’t have to worry about being voted the “most overrated player in MLB” again next spring.

Complete voting results for the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player Award can be found at

Mets claim Sam Coonrod off waivers from Phillies

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — The active New York Mets added another newcomer to their bullpen mix when they claimed reliever Sam Coonrod off waivers from the NL East rival Philadelphia Phillies.

Coonrod had a 7.82 ERA in 12 appearances covering 12 2/3 innings last year for the National League champions. The right-hander is 7-5 with a 5.27 ERA and five saves in 105 games over four major league seasons with San Francisco and Philadelphia. He has struck out 95 and walked 44 in 97 1/3 innings.

The 30-year-old Coonrod was designated for assignment by the Phillies last week when they signed free agent infielder Josh Harrison.

To make room on the 40-man roster, outfielder Khalil Lee was designated for assignment by the Mets.