The question of who should win the 2011 American League MVP award has almost become more about principles than performances. Can the Most Valuable Player be a pitcher -- namely, Cy Young Award-winning Tigers ace Justin Verlander? Can he play on a team that was never competitive in the playoff race, like Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista? How much of a factor is a player's defense?
Should it be Verlander? What about Jacoby Ellsbury, who led the AL in Wins Above Replacement, according to Fangraphs.com? Or Bautista, a legitimate offensive juggernaut? How do you rank players like Miguel Cabrera, Curtis Granderson, Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler, Adrian Gonzalez and Evan Longoria? Those questions will be answered early Monday afternoon, when the Baseball Writers' Association of American reveals its winner. But the debate will surely rage on long afterward.
Tell us: Who is your pick for the 2011 American League MVP?