Quick Hits: Trout, Pirates, White Sox

MVP awards are supposed to be based on a player's value to his team, but voters don't ordinarily take contract considerations into account, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports notes. If they did, Passan says the Angels' Mike Trout, who is making just $510K this year compared to Miguel Cabrera's $21MM, would likely win the AL MVP this year. The next-most-valuable player, when considering performance and salary, would be Matt Harvey, who is making $499K. Of course, players like Cabrera and Clayton Kershaw, who have higher salaries but also provide spectacular performance, are still extremely valuable even after factoring in their contracts. But Passan quotes Padres analyst Chris Long, who makes a distinction between value (that is, the degree to which a player outperforms his salary) and mere performance. Most MVP debates only consider the latter. Here are more notes from around the Majors.

  • Pirates GM Neal Huntington says that he believes fewer players are being placed on waivers than last August, and that more players are being claimed, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review tweets. That might suggest it will be difficult for the Pirates, and perhaps other teams as well, to pull off August trades.
  • GM Rick Hahn has the White Sox on the right course, Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago writes. Hayes argues that Hahn's trading has added high-level prospects (particularly Avisail Garcia, acquired from the Tigers in the Jake Peavy deal) and depth (in the form of the other three prospects acquired from the Red Sox in the same deal). Hahn also cleared salary by trading Peavy, Alex Rios, Matt Thornton and Jesse Crain. "Although this wasn’t how we wanted to spend the July and August trading periods, overall we are pleased with both the return talent-wise as well as the flexibility created by the deals," says Hahn.
  • With their trades, the White Sox cleared $10.7MM in salary in 2013 and $27MM in 2014, Baseball America's Matt Eddy notes. Eddy has compiled a list of what each team traded at the deadline, and what it received in return.

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