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Mets officially pick up Asdrubal Cabrera’s 2018 option

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Confirming earlier reports, the Mets officially exercised Asdrubal Cabrera‘s $8.5 million option for 2018 on Friday. As Cabrera was due for a $2 million buyout, it effectively cost the team just $6.5 million to retain the veteran infielder.

Cabrera, 31, was booted from his regular post at shortstop as the Mets turned to top prospect Amed Rosario early in the year. Despite some rumblings about a potential trade, a deal never came to fruition and Cabrera split his remaining starts between second and third base. He finished the season batting .280/.351/.434 with 14 home runs and 1.3 fWAR, and his extraordinary second-half surge enticed the Mets to bring him back for an encore in 2018.

The club still has quite a few questions to resolve as they head into the offseason — namely, what to do with David Wright and where to stash Cabrera on a long-term basis. They’ll also have to make a decision on Jose Reyes, who is set to enter free agency this fall and looks like a backup infield option at best.

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.