Originally Posted by stevenidol
I saw someone on Twitter last night claiming that Cabrera has better stats because he plays in the AL Central vs the AL West for Trout. So I created a spreadsheet where I averaged out Trout and Cabrera's stats vs the AL Central and the AL West (essentially what their stats would be with the same number of ABs against each division) and Cabrera's stats are by far better. Trout only leads in SBs and BBs. Cabrera leads in every other category. MVP has never been a defensive award so I could care less about those stats, however one team is going to the playoffs and the other isn't.
It's "Most Valuable Player," though. To me, that's the player who adds the most value, total. If they are so much better than everyone else with the bat, that's just fine (examples: Bonds in his roids years, Ruth, Mantle in 56, etc). But if you're talking about two guys who are very close offensively, then defense becomes a big factor.
There are lots of guys who have won it with defense being a significant positive factor for them.
Ivan Rodriguez in 99. A-Rod in 2003. Caminiti in 96, Larkin in 95. Terry Pendleton and Cal Ripken in 91.
Offense is obviously an important factor, too. But defense can be considered as well.