Originally Posted by Nellie_Fox
I didn't say that I was taking that position, just throwing it out for consideration. Of course it's most valuable for that season, but the question could be is there more value in a player who's proven himself to be reliably that good, as opposed to someone who might be "exposed" in subsequent seasons.
The landscape is littered with rookie phenoms who faded into oblivion. To answer your question, I'd be very hesitant to vote for a rookie as "Most Valuable." It's the Most Valuable, not the Player of the Year.
Oh, I didn't take it that way, just responding to that particular thought experiment. To me, I take the MVP as who contributed the most to his team. Riffing off of that (and obviously it's an imperfect comparison, as there are park factors involved, and teams are built differently, and there are other players present at the positions to begin with), if you swapped the two players, what would be the better team? In this case, the Tigers with Cabrera, or the Tigers with Mike Trout? The Angels with Mike Trout, or the Angels with Miguel Cabrera? Obviously that's completely hypothetical as Trout and Austin Jackson would have to fit somewhere, as well as Miguel Cabrera with Albert Pujols (not to mention Trumbo and Morales, as well), but it's an interesting thought in my head.
What's the difference between MVP and Player of the Year? As for rookies, were Fred Lynn and Ichiro not as valuable to their teams in their rookie years than in subsequent ones?