The MLB Award finalists are being announced this evening and overall, the Blue Jays are being well represented.
Both Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Marcus Semien were named finalists for the AL MVP Award alongside Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani while Robbie Ray was named a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award alongside White Sox pitcher Lance Lynn and Yankees ace Gerrit Cole.
It is no surprise Guerrero Jr. is an MVP finalist, especially after putting up the numbers he did with the Blue Jays this season. He led the American League with a 1.002 OPS and posted a .311/.401/.601 slash line while also tying for the league lead with 48 home runs and putting up 111 RBI, ranking sixth across the majors. He also did well at first base, making acrobatic plays and handling the position well in his first full season on the right side of the diamond. It is no secret that without the season he put forth, the Blue Jays would not have gotten to where they were this year without his bat in the lineup.
Taking a one-year “prove it” deal this past offseason, Semien already has a Gold Glove award in his trophy case and is looking to add another as he enters free agency. Posting a 7.1 WAR and a .265/.334/.538 slash line, the righty-batter led AL second baseman in OPS (.873), RBI (103), and home runs (45), setting a Major League record for most home runs hit in a single season by a second baseman. He finished third in MVP voting back in 2019 and it may look like he will take home the honour again this offseason but similar to Guerrero Jr., the Blue Jays would not have been even close to potential postseason contention without Semien on the roster this year.
The Toronto Blue Jays have three players nominated for MLB awards this season: Guerrero Jr. and Semien for the MVP Award and Ray for the Cy Young Award
Both players will be in tough to take home the award when they are going up against a two-way star in Ohtani.
Robbie Ray on the other hand has a legitimate shot to take home the AL Cy Young Award after having one of the best seasons of his career, leading the Blue Jays rotation on a similar one-year bounce-back type deal.
Slotting in as a back-end rotation piece to begin the year, Ray became the club’s bonafide ace come mid-Summer and ended up with some of the top stats across the league for his efforts. The southpaw led the league in strikeouts (248) and led the AL in ERA (2.84), innings pitched (193.1), and WHIP (1.04), setting himself up with a good chance to take home the hardware this offseason.
Regardless of what the final verdict is, these players had tremendous seasons and while these nominations might not help the Blue Jays case in bringing back Semien and Ray this winter, all three players deserved to be named finalists for their respective awards.