Giancarlo Stanton is another step closer to -- and one step away from -- history.
The Miami Marlins' slugging right fielder, the subject of significant trade speculation, was named a finalist for the NL MVP Award on Monday night by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, which votes on the honor. Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt and Cincinnati's Joey Votto are the other finalists.
The winner will be announced Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. on MLB Network.
If he wins, Stanton would be the first NL MVP in franchise history. He would also join the Dolphins' Dan Marino (NFL MVP in 1984) and the Heat's LeBron James (NBA MVP in 2011-12 and 2012-13) as the only league MVPs for South Florida's major professional sports teams.
Stanton's 2017 was arguably the best offensive season ever put together by a Marlin. He 2017 with 59 home runs, tied with Babe Ruth's 1921 for the ninth-highest total in a season ever, while leading the majors in RBI (132, a Marlins record) and the NL in slugging percentage (.631).
Stanton also tied for the league lead in Wins Above Replacement, according to both the FanGraphs (6.9 WAR, tied with Washington's Anthony Rendon) and the Baseball Reference (7.6 WAR, tied with Washington's Max Scherzer) versions. He hit .281, got on base at a .376 clip, had 32 doubles, scored 123 runs and is an NL Gold Glove finalist for right field.
His recent slew of end-of-year honors -- including the Hank Aaron Award, the Sporting News All-Star acknowledgement and the Gold Glove consideration -- comes under unusual and potentially uncomfortable circumstances. The Marlins have signaled they're open to trading Stanton this offseason, and rumors will only pick up during the GM Meetings in Orlando, Fla., next week.
Stanton said last month he planned to meet with CEO Derek Jeter and Miami bosses after the World Series, which ended last week. He said after the Marlins' final game of the season that, after being on a losing team in all of his eight major league seasons, he does not want to endure a rebuild if that's the route the Marlins choose.
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