On Monday afternoon, the American League MVP Award will be announced. As usual, there are cases to be made for several players, including Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander who won the AL Cy Young last week, but ESPN baseball analyst Buster Olney thinks that it should be Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury that takes home the honor.
Olney reportedly told WEEI that, while he would vote for Verlander personally, he believes that Ellsbury will win the AL MVP Award this season. For Red Sox fans, this is certainly welcome news.
Ellsbury had a career year in 2011, hitting 32 home runs and driving in 105 runs while posting a .321 batting average. In addition, Ellsbury stole 39 bases and walked a career-high 52 times in 729 plate appearances in 158 games this season.
While this would be welcome news for Red Sox Nation, it probably wouldn't be so for ownership in its attempt (or, at least, potential attempt) to resign Ellsbury, whose contract expires at the end of next season. However, it would be a nice bargaining chip to have if the team decides to trade Ellsbury next season.