Mar­lins’ Gian­carlo Stan­ton named a fi­nal­ist for NL MVP

Cecil Whig - - NATIONAL SPORTS -

(TNS) —Gian­carlo Stan­ton is an­other step closer to — and one step away from — his­tory.

The Mi­ami Mar­lins’ slug­ging right fielder, the sub­ject of sig­nif­i­cant trade spec­u­la­tion, was named a fi­nal­ist for the NL MVP Award on Mon­day night by the Base­ball Writ­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica, which votes on the honor. Ari­zona’s Paul Gold­schmidt and Cincin­nati’s Joey Votto are the other fi­nal­ists.

The win­ner will be an­nounced Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. on MLB Net­work.

If he wins, Stan­ton would be the first NL MVP in fran­chise his­tory. He would also join the Dol­phins’ Dan Marino (NFL MVP in 1984) and the Heat’s LeBron James (NBA MVP in 2011-12 and 2012-13) as the only league MVPs for South Florida’s ma­jor pro­fes­sional sports teams.

Stan­ton’s 2017 was ar­guably the best of­fen­sive sea­son ever put to­gether by a Mar­lin. He 2017 with 59 home runs, tied with Babe Ruth’s 1921 for the ninth-high­est to­tal in a sea­son ever, while lead­ing the ma­jors in RBI (132, a Mar­lins record) and the NL in slug­ging per­cent­age (.631).

Stan­ton also tied for the league lead in Wins Above Re­place­ment, ac­cord­ing to both the FanGraphs (6.9 WAR, tied with Wash­ing­ton’s An­thony Ren­don) and the Base­ball Ref­er­ence (7.6 WAR, tied with Wash­ing­ton’s Max Scherzer) ver­sions. He hit .281, got on base at a .376 clip, had 32 dou­bles, scored 123 runs and is an NL Gold Glove fi­nal­ist for right field.

His re­cent slew of end-of-year hon­ors _ in­clud­ing the Hank Aaron Award, the Sport­ing News All-Star ac­knowl­edge­ment and the Gold Glove con­sid­er­a­tion _ comes un­der un­usual and po­ten­tially un­com­fort­able cir­cum­stances. The Mar­lins have sig­naled they’re open to trad­ing Stan­ton this off­sea­son, and ru­mors will only pick up dur­ing the GM Meet­ings in Or­lando, Fla., next week.

Stan­ton said last month he planned to meet with CEO Derek Jeter and Mi­ami bosses af­ter the World Se­ries, which ended last week. He said af­ter the Mar­lins’ fi­nal game of the sea­son that, af­ter be­ing on a los­ing team in all of his eight ma­jor league sea­sons, he does not want to en­dure a re­build if that’s the route the Mar­lins choose.

TNS PHOTO

Mar­lins slug­ger Gian­carlo Stan­ton is on the short list for the Na­tional League MVP.

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