The Rays Tank: Price, Molina Win Awards

Jared Wickerham

David Price was given the Players Choice American League Outstanding Pitcher award yesterday, the second time (2010) he's received the prize. The award is voted on exclusively by the players, so I'd assume that gives it a little extra meaning in the winner's mind. Unlike 2010, Price will likely win the Cy Young this year as well after leading the league in wins and ERA.

There's no doubt the award is deserved but the fact that Justin Verlander, in my opinion the best pitcher in baseball, wasn't even a finalist for it is humerous. Joining Price in his award winning ways was Jose Molina, who captured the first ever Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award for the Rays. Adam Berry explains the award here:

Each team had one player selected as its defensive player of the year. Unlike the Gold Glove Awards, which are voted on by Major League managers and coaches, these award winners were determined by statistical metrics, using the same "shredder system" seen on the sabermetrics-heavy show "Clubhouse Confidential," along with input from MLB Network analysts.

The validity of defensive metrics is still a widely debated topic, and some had an issue with the way Molina would stab at passed balls, but there's little doubt in my mind that his presence behind the plate was a big factor in the amount of success the Rays pitching staff had this season. Other players like Ben Zobrist and Desmond Jennings were worthy of selection as well, but, good for Molina.

Links:

-Over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron looks at Joel Peralta's new contract and the type of contracts middle relievers are getting.

-This ESPN poll asks a few questions of baseball executives and two of the questions involve Rays players, specifically B.J. Upton and James Shields.

-Can an MVP case be made for Adrian Beltre? Matthew Kory takes a stab at it over at Baseball Prospectus.

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