Well, it wasn't unanimous, but it was darn close.
I had figured that there would be a first-place vote or two for somebody else simply on the basis that Joe Mauer missed the first month of the season. That that vote went to Miguel Cabrera rather than one of the Yankees duo of Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira — that was a surprise.
Mauer's been the best player the the American League three of the past four seasons; this BBWAA vote is just catching up to that reality. They've had some help in maintaining their ignorance — people in and around the Twins organization have fed the writers' fascination with RBIs — and I also believe that the writers were waiting for a power surge. Had they given him the MVP with 13 homers in 2006, they'd have a difficult time not giving it to him when he had a big power year.
I fully expect a fresh wave of speculation to begin about Mauer and his contract status. My view is that this award doesn't change anything. I don't see Mauer and his agent, Ron Shapiro, using the trophy as a club.
There's been speculation about the status of talks. I suspect that speculation will continue right up to the press conference to announce a signing. The Twins are pretty close-lipped about contract talks, and Shapiro, unlike Scott Boras, isn't a self-serving leaker.
But one thing that should be noted is that the Twins have taken pains in recent weeks to say they're comfortable with going into Mauer's walk year without a contract. They weren't willing to do that with Santana, because Santana and his agent essentially told the Twins he wasn't going to re-sign; he wanted the bigger stage.
Mauer's only leaving if he decides he wants to leave. I see no reason to think that's the case.