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Ivan Nova has reportedly received offers in three-year, $36MM range

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According to Jim Bowden of ESPN, Pirates’ starter Ivan Nova is in line for a three-year, $36 million offer similar to the one J.A. Happ took with the Blue Jays prior to the 2016 season. Nova’s agent, Greg Genske, confirmed that they’d been receiving offers in that range, though he didn’t name any current suitors.

Nova got off to a rough start with the Yankees during the first half of the 2016 season, posting a 4.90 ERA that looked like it was on pace to rival the career-high 5.07 mark he hit in 2015. He was dealt to the Pirates at the trade deadline and made remarkable strides over the final two months of the regular season, thanks in part to a deflated 3.06 ERA and a 17.33 K/BB rate over 64 2/3 innings in Pittsburgh’s rotation. His strikeout rate kept pace with his career 6.7 K/9 average, ramping up to a modest 7.2 strikeouts per nine innings, but it was his exceptional control that helped keep him ahead of opposing batters with just three walks in 263 batters faced.

The 29-year-old’s transformation on the mound seemed simple enough. Following his transition to Pittsburgh, Nova tweaked the release point on his curveball and focused on utilizing his breaking ball early in the count to get more first-pitch strikes. The change appears to have worked, and could give potential suitors confidence in the right-hander’s continued success in 2017. Whether or not Nova can net a more lucrative contract remains to be seen.

Mike Trout voted 2019 American League Most Valuable Player

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The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Angels outfielder Mike Trout the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2019 season. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes, earning the third AL MVP Award of his career.

Trout, 28, missed the final three weeks of the season due to a foot injury, but his numbers were still strong enough to overcome the competition. He led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and a 185 adjusted OPS, and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage and 1.083 OPS. He also slugged 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, scored 110 runs, and stole 11 bases in 600 plate appearances. FanGraphs also gave him an edge over the competition in WAR at 8.6.

Trout, who also won the award in 2014 and ’16, is the third Angel to snag the hardware, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2004). He is the 11th player to win three MVP awards, joining Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Álex Rodríguez, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, Albert Pujols, and Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only player to have won the award more than three times, winning a whopping seven MVP awards.

Alex Bregman finished in a close second place followed by Marcus  Semien, DJ LeMahieu, and Xander Bogaerts. Also receiving votes were Matt Chapman, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Jorge Polanco, Austin Meadows, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Gleyber Torres, Eddie Rosario, José Abreu, Max Kepler, J.D. Martinez, Yoán Moncada, Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Jorge Soler.