That's what Keith Law thinks. Now, I love Law's stuff. For analysis, he is one of the first people I look to in the sport. However, in this case, I can't imagine it.
Now, let's be clear from the start, I think MVP voting is way too subjective for me to get too worked up over it. Law's argument, on the surface, is more objective. He is looking at raw data and states this:
Cabrera and Robinson Cano each had exactly 697 plate appearances this year, and Cabrera was slightly better, with nine more hits, 14 more points of OBP (reaching base 10 more times this season), and 56 more points of slugging (32 more total bases). Cano also played in a more favorable home park than Cabrera did this year. But Cabrera's offensive advantage is wiped out by Cano's massive advantage on defense, a swing of about 19-20 runs saved between the two players. Even a casual observer of the game can tell you that Cano is a good defender at second while Cabrera is a poor defender at third, a difference that is more than enough to put Cano above Cabrera on my ballot.
Now, I like the sabermetrics. They have a place in these arguments. A big place.
But watching Cano all season, I'm not sure he was the MVP of the Yankees, let alone second in the league. Push come to shove, I would probably make him the MVP of the Yanks, but Rafael Soriano's and Derek Jeter's impact felt larger, though, the numbers -- especially Jeter's -- and the role -- esepcically Soriano's -- don't support such a position.
Cano's game was streaky all year. Cano wasn't great defensively this season. Too many times, he dropped doubleplay balls, which didn't resulted in an error, but didn't help the Yankees win. There were the non-dives; especially most notably in Toronto when the Yankees were nose-diving.
His nonchalance was not MVP-worthy. As usual, he didn't hustle all the time. Add to that, he didn't hit for the first month of the season.
These sounds like nitpicks, but they are meant in the context of the MVP race. There's no question Cano is a great player. Just watching every day, he wasn't as valuable as the numbers may portray.
I don't watch Cabrera or Mike Trout every day so, I admit, that I'm a little focused on Cano's flaws. But watching him all season, makes it hard to imagine that he was better than the Triple Crown-winning Cabrera. In fact, I gave Cabrera the razor-thin advantage over Trout.
QUESTION: What do you think?