As the calendar slowly makes its way through November and the various awards are announced, the reality of the offseason has fully set in. The big awards (Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP) are being announced throughout this week, and the Tribe could be taking home some hardware before the week is over.
Naquin started off the 2016 campaign on fire, but as he cooled off in the latter part of the season, Detroit starter Michael Fulmer continued to put up incredible numbers and ran away with the AL Rookie of the Year award. Naquin finished third behind Fulmer and New York's Gary Sanchez. Oh well, we'll always have this.
Matt Lyons seems to agree that a weak AL Central could help propel the Cleveland Indians to more postseason action come 2017. With the Tigers getting older, the Royals running out of voodoo magic, the White Sox in a rebuild, and the Twins being the Twins, Cleveland will need to capitalize and make some deep postseason runs in the next few seasons before their divisional opponents begin to rebound.
Around the League
The first of the "big four" awards was announced yesterday, and Michael Fulmer (AL) and Corey Seager took home the Rookie of the Year awards in their respective leagues. Here are their stats from 2016:
- Michael Fulmer: 26 GS (11-7), 159.0 IP, 132 K, 3.06 ERA, 3.76 FIP, 3.95 xFIP, 135 ERA+
- Corey Seager: 687 PA, .308/.365/.512, 26 HR, 72 RBI, 137 OPS+, 137 wRC+
- Of the ten players that were offered qualifying offers, only Jeremy Hellickson and Neil Walker accepted the $17.2 million contracts for 2017.
- Speaking of the qualifying offer, it's rumored that it won't get past the next CBA.
- Dexter Fowler, one of the players that recently turned down a qualifying offer from the Chicago Cubs, is looking to get a four-year contract from some team. And before you start figuring out how he fits into the Indians' payroll over the next four years, I'll save you some time: he doesn't.
- And finally, Reddit user /u/thedeejus wants to know "Who's the most popular player among your fanbase who was only on your team for one season?" My initial thought was Jason Giambi (for recent players), but I forgot that he also played briefly in 2014.