BBWAA honors Cano as Mariners' MVP

Iwakuma, Cruz also earn awards in pregame ceremony

October 1st, 2016

SEATTLE -- has been outstanding from start to finish this year for the Mariners, which makes it no surprise that the 33-year-old second baseman was named Friday as the team's Most Valuable Player by Seattle's chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

The local writers also voted as the team's Most Valuable Pitcher and gave the annual "Unsung Player" Award. The awards were presented in a pregame ceremony at Safeco Field Friday by Seattle BBWAA chapter chairman Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times.

Manager Scott Servais said all three honors were "well deserved" and a tribute to the players selected.

"Robbie from the get-go has had a phenomenal year," Servais said. "Offensively, the numbers speak for themselves."

Cano had put up a .298/.350/.532 line with a career-high 38 home runs and 100 RBIs after hitting two more long balls in Friday's 5-1 win over the A"s. The batting average is tops on the team and he's second to Cruz in slugging percentage, RBIs and home runs and third behind Cruz and Seager in on-base percentage.

Servais said the seven-time All-Star has been a complete player this season.

"It's the plays he made defensively as well," said the first-year skipper. "The plays ranging to his right, I don't know if there's anybody better at it in throwing across his body and getting as much on it as he does. Certainly he's been healthy. I didn't see him last year, but from what I've heard, he's moving so much better the whole year."

Iwakuma has posted a career-high in wins with a 16-12 record and has a 3.96 ERA while leading the team in innings pitched at 195 1/3, with one start remaining on Saturday. The 35-year-old initially signed with the Dodgers in free agency last December, but returned to the Mariners when that deal fell through because of health concerns.

"With Kuma, we're lucky to have him with everything that went through in the offseason," Servais said. "We're fortunate he came back to us. I don't know where we'd be without him. We would not be in this spot, that's for sure."

Cruz also has had an outstanding season as a 36-year-old right fielder and designated hitter, batting .288/.362/.554 with 42 homers and 103 RBIs after going 2-for-4 with a homer on Friday. But the "Unsung" honor is a tribute to how he handles himself off the field as well in his relations with teammates, staff members, media and fans

Servais said the way Cruz has played through a wrist injury is a testament to the award.

"Just kind of the grit, grind and what he's going through right now," Servais said. "Even [Thursday] night's game, he beats out an infield hit, he's always running hard, always doing the right thing and one of our most-prepared guys on the team.

"He knows the league very well and he pays attention. He's not just hanging out waiting for his at-bat, he's helping his teammates and doing all the things a veteran guy should do."