NEW YORK – Alex Rodriguez won the American League Most Valuable Player award for the second time in three seasons, beating David Ortiz on Monday in a vote that rewarded a position player over a designated hitter.
Voting was done before the start of the postseason, when both the Yankees and Red Sox were eliminated in the first round. Rodriguez hit only .133 with no RBIs in a five-game loss to the Angels while Ortiz batted .333 with a home run as the Red Sox were swept by the Chicago White Sox.
Rodriguez hit .321 with an AL-high 48 homers and 130 RBIs, breaking Joe DiMaggio's 68-year-old Yankees record for home runs by a right-handed hitter (46). A-Rod also won the award in 2003, his final season as the Texas Rangers' shortstop before he was dealt to the Yankees.
Ortiz batted .300 with 47 homers and a major league-leading 148 RBIs. Big Papi had 34 RBIs that put his team ahead, the most in the AL, and had eight RBIs from the seventh inning on that put Boston ahead to stay.
Rodriguez became the first Yankees player to win the award since Don Mattingly in 1985 and only the fourth player to win an MVP with two teams, joining Barry Bonds (Pittsburgh and San Francisco), Jimmie Foxx (Philadelphia Athletics and Red Sox) and Frank Robinson (Cincinnati and Baltimore).
A-Rod also is the fourth to win at two positions, following Detroit's Hank Greenberg (first base and left field), the St. Louis Cardinals' Stan Musial (outfield and first base) and the Milwaukee Brewers' Robin Yount (shortstop and center field).
Rodriguez gets a $1 million bonus for winning the MVP for the second time during his record $252 million, 10-year contract. With Ortiz's second-place finish, the price of Boston's 2007 club option increases by $400,000 to $8.4 million. The buyout goes up by the same amount to $1.4 million.
Guerrero got $200,000 for finishing third and Boston outfielder Manny Ramirez gets $75,000 for placing fourth.
Cleveland DH Travis Hafner was fifth and earned an automatic $200,000 annual raise to $2.7 million next year and $3.95 million in 2007, with the price of Cleveland's 2008 option rising to $4.95 million.