Alex Rodriguez wins third MVP award |

Alex Rodriguez wins third MVP award

Ronald Blum
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
The New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez won his third Most Valuable Player award in the American League in balloting on Monday. (Kathy Willens/AP)

NEW YORK ” Alex Rodriguez is headed back to the New York Yankees as the American League’s Most Valuable Player.

A-Rod won his third AL MVP award Monday, easily defeating Detroit’s Magglio Ordonez.

Rodriguez had 26 first-place votes and 382 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Ordonez had two firsts and 258 points, and was followed by the Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero (203) and Boston’s David Ortiz (177).

The only two first-place votes that didn’t go to Rodriguez were from Tom Gage of The Detroit News and Jim Hawkins of The Oakland Press in Pontiac, Mich.

Rodriguez became just the ninth player to win the MVP three or more times. Bonds holds the record with seven, and Yogi Berra, Roy Campanella, Joe DiMaggio, Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial and Mike Schmidt won three apiece.

A-Rod won his first MVP in 2003, his last season with the Texas Rangers. He also won the award while with the Yankees in 2005.

Rodriguez earned a $1.5 million bonus for winning the award, which completes the contract he opted out of last month. A-Rod earned $185.45 million over seven years in that deal, including bonuses, an average of $26.49 million annually.

After opting out of the final three seasons of that record contract, which had guaranteed him $252 million over 10 seasons, A-Rod is in the process of negotiating a $275 million, 10-year agreement with the Yankees. That came after a turbulent two weeks in which the Yankees said they wouldn’t negotiate with him anymore, and then he approached the team without agent Scott Boras and negotiated his return through an investment banker.

A-Rod hit .314 and led the majors with 54 homers and 156 RBIs. But he flopped again in the playoffs as the Yankees lost to Cleveland in the first round. He went 4-for-15 (.267) with one RBI against the Indians, is in an 8-for-59 (.136) postseason funk dating to 2004 and is hitless in his past 18 playoff at-bats with runners in scoring position.

It was the 20th time a Yankees player won the award.

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