The Baseball Writers Association of America named Victor Martinez as one of three finalists for the 2014 American League Most Valuable Player award this evening. This represents the highest finish of Martinez's career, besting his seventh place finish in 2007. Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels and Michael Brantley of the Cleveland Indians are the other finalists.
Martinez, who was named the Tiger of the Year earlier today, hit .335/.409/.565 with a career high 32 home runs and 103 RBI in 641 plate appearances this season. It was the fifth time he topped the 100 RBI mark in his career, and the second time he has done so with the Tigers. Martinez was worth 4.4 WAR, the highest total for a designated hitter since David Ortiz in 2007.
Martinez finished 16th in the AL MVP voting in 2011, the fourth-highest finish on the team. Justin Verlander won the award with 13 first place votes, while Miguel Cabrera finished fifth and Alex Avila finished 12th. Martinez's seventh place finish in 2007 came while he was the Cleveland Indians' starting catcher. He was worth 5.4 WAR that season after hitting .301/.374/.505 in 645 plate appearances.
If Martinez wins the MVP award, he will be the fourth Tiger in a row to bring home the honor. Verlander won the 2011 award, while Miguel Cabrera is the reigning two-time champion in 2012 and 2013. It would be the first time a single team had four consecutive winners since Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle, and Elston Howard won the MVP award for the New York Yankees from 1960 to 1963.
Max Scherzer was not named a finalist for the AL Cy Young award after finishing 18-5 with a 3.15 ERA in 220 1/3 innings. Felix Hernandez, Chris Sale, and Corey Kluber are the finalists for the 2014 award.