Pujols unanimous 2009 NL MVP

1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th Points
Albert Pujols, Cardinals 32 448
Hanley Ramirez, Marlins 15 5 3 3 2 3 1 233
Ryan Howard, Phillies 6 8 7 5 1 3 1 217
Prince Fielder, Brewers 5 9 7 3 1 3 1 3 203
Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies 3 6 5 5 5 1 1 172
Andre Ethier, Dodgers 2 3 2 5 4 5 3 113
Pablo Sandoval, Giants 1 2 5 5 6 1 4 89
Chase Utley, Phillies 2 2 1 5 4 3 1 84
Derrek Lee, Cubs 1 3 3 2 2 5 66
Matt Kemp, Dodgers 2 1 2 3 1 1 2 49
Ryan Braun, Brewers 3 1 2 4 6 43
Adrian Gonzalez, Padres 1 1 3 2 5 30

Now, someone has to explain how Jeremy Affeldt received one 10th place vote.

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Sign Soriano

Despite Brian Cashman’s recent admission, that the bullpen is not an “area of obvious need,” today Buster Olney (ESPN) writes that the Yankees “No. 1 area of focus, beyond the Damon/Matsui realm: their bullpen. They will look for two relievers, in all likelihood.” This is a strange comment, as the team’s second real need “beyond the Damon/Matsui realm” seems to be fleshing out their rotation (Cashman said as much yesterday), but Olney’s assertion certainly make sense when you consider the relief realities that the Yankees will ultimately have to account for next season.

First, if we are to believe that the Yankees will use him as a starter in 2010, then the team will feature a bullpen absent an effective Phil Hughes (he was worth 2.2 WAR as a reliever). Plus, outside of Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, and a healthy Damaso Marte, you’re not really sure what to expect of Phil Coke, Alfredo Aceves and, dare I say, Brian Bruney next season.… Click here to read the rest

If not Lackey, then who?

Rich Harden (Type B): Rich Harden has as good “pure stuff” as any pitcher out there, including AJ Burnett. However, he makes AJ Burnett look like Greg Maddux when it comes to durability. Harden, when healthy, can be utterly and completely dominating. He had a mediocre 2009 campaign with the Cubs, but was fantastic in 2008, split between the Cubs and A’s. Harden made just 26 starts this year, finishing with a 9-9 record, 4.07 ERA and a 110 ERA+ in 141.0 IP, averaging 10.9 K/9 IP. Home run and walk rates were up in 2009, leading to a higher WHIP. Looking back at his 2008 season, he was splendid in 25 blended starts (13 w/OAK; 12 w/CHI): 10-2 record, 2.07 ERA, 211 ERA+ in 148.0 IP, averaging 11.0 K/9. His home run rate was half of his 2009 rate and he walked few batters, leading to a great 1.061 WHIP.

Here’s the fly in the ointment, a fitting analogy for Harden: He only started a combined 13 games in 2006-07, 19 in 2005 (age 23), 31 in 2004 (his career high).… Click here to read the rest

Discussion: Who Would You Trade Montero For?

Jesus Montero has been labelled untouchable by Yankees fans, and he is probably as untouchable as a prospect can be. However, as we have noted on various occasions in this space, no prospect is truly untouchable, as there are almost certainly deals that I would put Montero into. So the task for today is to list the players that you would certainly trade Jesus for, ignoring the fact that the Yankees may be hard pressed to put together a package for many of them. Here is my list:

Evan Longoria
Justin Verlander
Zack Greinke
Joe Mauer
Felix Hernandez
Hanley Ramirez
Albert Pujols
Tim Lincecum
Matt Wieters
Jason Heyward

Who would be on your list? Disagree with any of my picks?… Click here to read the rest

The Yankeeist Interview with River Ave. Blues

While last week’s interviewees, Bronx Banter and RLYW, represented the founding fathers of the Yankee blogosphere, today I bring you the gentlemen behind the most popular and arguably most authoritative Yankee blog running today: River Ave. Blues.

Simply put, if you’re a web-savvy Yankee fan you almost certainly know about RAB. I can’t remember exactly when I started reading, but I know it was pretty early on in the site’s existence. Ben Kabak, Joe Pawlikowski and Mike Axisa — each of whom began writing about the Yankees on the web at their own individual sites — do an incredible job of posting new Yankee content on what feels like practically an hourly basis every single day. While some bloggers feel compelled to post at times even if they don’t really have anything to say, every RAB post is always carefully thought out and extremely well-written, with a strict adherence to high-end statistical analysis.

RAB is by far my most visited daily website, and in addition to the fantastic quality of the content, is also home to a passionate and dedicated commenting section.… Click here to read the rest