Third baseman Anthony Rendon, who helped lead the Washington Nationals to their first World Series championship, is a finalist for the National League Most Valuable Player award.
The three candidates for each of Major League Baseball’s top eight individual honors — American League and NL MVP, AL and NL Cy Young Award, AL and NL Rookie of the Year and AL and NL Manager of the Year — were announced Monday evening.
Voting for all of the awards was completed prior to the postseason, which culminated with the Nationals beating the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the World Series.
Rendon and one of the NL Cy Young Award candidates, Houston Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole, are two of the top free agents on the market this winter.
In the race for NL MVP, Rendon is vying with last year’s winner, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich, and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger.
The AL MVP candidates are Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout, a two-time winner and four-time runner-up; Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and Oakland A’s shortstop Marcus Semien.
Cole and Astros teammate Justin Verlander are joined by Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Charlie Morton as the finalists for the AL Cy Young Award. Verlander won the award in 2011 while with the Detroit Tigers.
The NL Cy Young Award nominees are Nationals right-hander Max Scherzer, New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom and Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu. The 2018 honor went to deGrom while Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young winner (one in the AL with the Tigers and two in the NL with the Nationals).
The Astros also have a candidate for AL Rookie of the Year, designated hitter/outfielder Yordan Alvarez, along with Rays second baseman/outfielder Brandon Lowe and Baltimore Orioles left-hander John Means.
The 2019 major league home run champion Pete Alonso, the New York Mets first baseman, is among the finalists for NL Rookie of the Year. Alonso’s 53 home runs set a single-season record for rookies. The other NL Rookie finalists are Atlanta Braves right-hander Mike Sorotka and San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
The AL Manager of the Year finalists are first-year Minnesota Twins skipper Rocco Baldelli as well as the New York Yankees’ Aaron Boone and the Rays’ Kevin Cash. The NL Manager of the Year finalists are the Brewers’ Craig Counsell, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Mike Shildt and the Atlanta Braves’ Brian Snitker.