Who is the 2009 Mariners MVP?


Matt Pitman on the postgame show tonight has re-ignited one of the great discussions – who is the 2009 Seattle Mariners MVP? Earlier in the season, there were about 20 names popping up – everything from Rob Johnson to Jack Zduriencik. Although I’m extremely grateful for what one of those people has done, neither of them is the 2009 Mariners MVP (although a strong argument could be made for Jack Z).

This time around, the list has pretty much been narrowed down to Ichiro, Felix, Guti, Russell Branyan, Jose Lopez, and David Aardsma. As much as I love what Russell and Loafie have done this season, neither of them are quite on the same level as the other four. There are definitely strong arguments to be made for all of the others.

Ichiro is having yet another fantastic season – he’s hitting over .350, his home run numbers are up from previous years, and his WAR (4.8) is nearly at the top of the team. He’s fantastic, and in a lot of ways under-appreciated, but he wouldn’t quite be my pick.

David Aardsma, perhaps the most surprising of this group, has also contributed greatly – his tRA is abysmal, and he’s done something no one else had been able to do – hold down the ninth inning, consistently. I love him, and part of me longs for him to be back in 2010, but he’s just not up there with Felix, Guti, or Ichiro in my eyes.

Then you get to Felix and Gutz – for me, it’s an impossible call. Felix has the highest WAR on the team at 6.1, but it’s hard to decide how much stock to put into pitcher’s WAR. He’s been the stopper that this team desperately needed, and he’s in the thick of the American League Cy Young race. It’s really tough to vote against him – so I won’t, and instead will split my vote in half, between Felix Hernandez, and Franklin Gutierrez.

I’m basing this solely on statistics (as I do with most things), but I’ve gotta give the nod to Guti over Ichiro for most valuable position player. We all know about his spectacular defense, which has been the best in all of baseball, but when you get down to perhaps the best stat for determining value, WAR (wins above replacement), he sits at the top among Mariners position players. He’s been worth 5 wins this year, compared to Ichiro’s 4.8 (Russell Branyan has been worth 2.8, and Loafie 2.2). So yes, it’s incredibly close, and I can understand the reasoning behind choosing Ichiro, or even Aardsma, but I have to give the nod to Guti.

You can follow me on Twitter here