NEW YORK — All those who marvel at Miguel Cabrera can only wonder what he might have done this year if completely healthy.
Even so, Cabrera was a huge hit in Motown.
Despite being hobbled by all sorts of ailments, the Detroit Tigers slugger won his second straight American League Most Valuable Player award Thursday, once again beating Angels outfielder Mike Trout by a comfortable margin.
A season after winning baseball’s first Triple Crown in 45 years, Cabrera came back to lead the majors in hitting at .348 and finish second with 44 home runs and 137 runs batted in.
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“I think this year was tougher because of the injuries,” he said. “It was the last two months. It was tough to play through it.”
Cabrera got 23 of 30 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. He became the first player to win consecutive AL MVPs since Frank Thomas for the Chicago White Sox in 1993 and 1994.
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen took the NL MVP by a surprisingly wide margin after leading a baseball revival in Pittsburgh.
McCutchen drew 28 of the 30 first-place votes to finish far ahead of Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina.
“I’m floating right now,” McCutchen said. “But I definitely didn’t expect it to be a landslide.
… I didn’t know what to expect.”
McCutchen ranked among the NL leaders by hitting .317 with 21 home runs and 84 RBI. He also scored 97 runs, stole 27 bases and had a .404 on-base percentage. The 27-year-old helped the Pirates stop a record streak of 20 losing seasons and make the playoffs for the first time since 1992.
• Major League Baseball took the first vote in a two-step process, unanimously approving funding for expanded instant replay in 2014. They plan to approve the new rules when they meet Jan. 16 in Paradise Valley, Ariz., after agreements with the unions for umpires and players.
• MLB withdrew its proposal for a new bidding system with Japan, making it uncertain whether prized pitcher Masahiro Tanaka will be on the market this offseason.
• Alex Rodriguez’s scheduled investigatory interview with MLB was called off because the New York Yankees third baseman was feeling ill.