Ready for Awards season? Here's your guide

November 8th, 2021

The postseason is over. And that means that awards season has arrived.

Every November, after the dust settles on another seven months of baseball, the sport takes some time to look back and honor those whose performances thrilled, surprised and entertained us throughout the year. Who will add to their trophy case in 2021? Here is a look ahead.

Monday, Nov. 8: Executive of the Year Award
This honor will be announced during the GM Meetings, which will take place in Carlsbad, Calif., from Nov. 8-11. As with other awards, voting is completed prior to the start of the postseason, which means the Braves’ title run won’t be taken into account. Last year’s winner was Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

Monday, Nov. 8: BBWAA Awards finalists announced
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network
As it has done in recent years, the Baseball Writers' Association of America will unveil finalists for its awards -- Rookie of the Year, Manager of the Year, Cy Young and MVP -- one week before announcing the winners. The top three vote-getters for each AL and NL award become finalists.

Tuesday, Nov. 9: Hank Aaron Awards
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network
These are presented annually to the best overall offensive performer in each league, with fans getting a voice in the process through online voting, which wrapped up Oct. 15. There are seven finalists in both the AL and NL, including previous winners Freddie Freeman (2020, NL), Bryce Harper (2015, NL) and Paul Goldschmidt (2013, NL). The AL field includes two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani and breakout star Vladimir Guerrero Jr., while Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis Jr. contend in the NL. The awards will take on extra meaning this year, with Aaron having passed away on Jan. 22.

Wednesday, Nov. 10: All-MLB finalists announced
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network
This is the third year of the All-MLB Team, which was introduced in 2019 to honor players’ full-season contributions, since All-Star selections are based on first-half performance. Once finalists are announced, fans will be able to vote at to help choose first- and second-team selections at each spot (including three outfielders, a DH, five starting pitchers and two relievers).

Wednesday, Nov. 10: Rivera/Hoffman Relievers of the Year Awards
7 p.m. ET on MLB Network
Since 2014, the top relievers in the AL and NL have been honored with awards named after Hall of Fame closers Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman, respectively. Last year’s winners were Liam Hendriks and Devin Williams, and Hendriks could be in position to go back to back after leaving the A’s for the White Sox as a free agent last offseason. Josh Hader also has a shot to win the NL award for the third time in the past four years and give Milwaukee four straight winners overall.

Thursday, Nov. 11: Silver Slugger Awards
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network
Each year since 1980, the best offensive player at each position in each league has earned a Silver Slugger Award, based on voting from MLB managers and coaches. Among active players, Mike Trout (eight at outfield), Jose Altuve (five at second base), Buster Posey (four at catcher), Paul Goldschmidt (four at first base), Albert Pujols (four at first base), Nolan Arenado (four at third base), Mookie Betts (four at outfield) and Andrew McCutchen (four at outfield) have the most Silver Sluggers at one position. Another thing to watch for this year: Will this be the final Silver Slugger handed out to an NL pitcher? If the universal DH is implemented in 2022, it could be.

Friday, Nov. 12: Rawlings Platinum Glove and Team Defensive Awards
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network
All Gold Glove Award winners become eligible for a Platinum Glove, which goes to the best overall defender in each league. Since the award debuted in 2011, third basemen have grabbed a whopping nine of a possible 20, with Oakland’s Matt Chapman winning in the AL in 2018-19, and Nolan Arenado winning the last four in the NL. Rawlings also began handing out team Gold Glove Award in 2020, with those going to Cleveland in the AL and the Cubs in the NL.

Monday, Nov. 15: BBWAA Rookie of the Year Awards
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network
The Baseball Writers' Association of America kicks off its major awards week by honoring the top rookies of 2021. It’s an honor with a strong legacy, bearing the name of Jackie Robinson, the first winner back in 1947. While not every Rookie of the Year winner goes on to glory, past winners include legends such as Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Tom Seaver, Johnny Bench, Cal Ripken Jr., Ichiro Suzuki and Albert Pujols. Kyle Lewis of the Mariners and Devin Williams of the Brewers won in 2020, and one battle to watch this year could be in the AL between Rays teammates Randy Arozarena -- the preseason favorite after his monstrous 2020 postseason -- and 20-year-old top prospect Wander Franco.

Tuesday, Nov. 16: BBWAA Manager of the Year Awards
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network
Which AL and NL skippers did the best job of leading their teams in 2021? That’s always a difficult thing to judge, balancing between those who helped their clubs meet high expectations and those who guided theirs to pleasantly surprising results. Defending AL winner Kevin Cash of the Rays could have a shot to go back to back after Tampa Bay won 100 games and a second straight AL East title in 2021, but Houston’s Dusty Baker is another candidate to watch in the AL. Baker has three Manager of the Year Awards to his credit, but those all came in the NL with the Giants (1993, ‘97, 2000). Over on the NL side, San Francisco’s Gabe Kapler is positioned as a favorite, with his team having shocked the baseball world with a 107-win campaign to take the NL West from the Dodgers.

Wednesday, Nov. 17: BBWAA Cy Young Awards
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network
Pitching is always at a premium in MLB, and that value has been recognized annually since 1956, with the AL and NL getting separate awards beginning in 1967. Roger Clemens is the all-time leader with seven Cy Young Awards, and while that number will not be matched any time soon, Max Scherzer could have a shot to move up the list in 2021. Scherzer is currently one of just 10 pitchers to win at least three times -- having done it in both the AL (2013) and NL (‘16, ‘17) -- and another would make him the fifth pitcher to win four of them (joining Clemens, Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton and Greg Maddux). But Scherzer will have to beat out teammate Walker Buehler, plus the likes of the Brewers’ Corbin Burnes. Over in the AL, will Gerrit Cole snap a shocking drought for the Yankees? Clemens (2001) is currently the only Yankee to win since 1978, and Cole could join him if he holds off Toronto’s Robbie Ray, among others.

Thursday, Nov. 18: BBWAA Most Valuable Player Awards
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network
What does “most valuable” mean? That’s the annual debate here. Historically, MVPs have often (but not always) come from winning teams, but there is a strong chance that neither 2021 winner will have made the postseason. Still, the individual accomplishments of players such as the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, the Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the Phillies’ Bryce Harper and the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. are difficult to ignore, even if their teams fell short. Ohtani, in particular, will be the center of attention on this day, as he seeks to cap a jaw-dropping season of unprecedented two-way performance with an MVP Award.

Friday, Nov. 19: Heart & Hustle Awards
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network (during MLB Tonight)
This award is presented by the MLB Players Alumni Association and is voted on by alumni as well as active players. It goes to the active player “who demonstrates a passion for the game of baseball and best embodies the values, spirit and traditions of the game.” Each of the 30 teams has one nominee, and a winner will be pulled from that group.

Monday, Nov. 22: MLB Comeback Player of the Year Awards
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network (during MLB Tonight)
One player in each league is recognized here for overcoming some sort of adversity to return to a high level of performance. Last year, the Royals’ Salvador Perez was the AL honoree after he missed the 2019 season due to injury, while the Rockies’ Daniel Bard won in the NL for making a triumphant return to the mound after being out of the Majors for six seasons. One name to watch this year will be Buster Posey, who could become the first player to win the award and retire in the same offseason since Mariano Rivera in 2013.

Tuesday, Nov. 23: All-MLB Team Awards
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network
See above.

Monday, Nov. 29: Edgar Martinez Outstanding DH Award
6 p.m. ET on MLB Network (during MLB Tonight)
The best designated hitter in the game has been recognized annually since the position was added in the AL in 1973. It was renamed in honor of five-time winner Edgar Martinez in 2004. Last year saw the first NL winner (Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna), but that won’t happen in 2021, with pitchers once again batting in NL play. Since eight-time winner David Ortiz retired, Nelson Cruz has won the award twice (2017, ‘19) and could be a candidate again in ‘21, although he figures to have quite a bit of competition, including from Shohei Ohtani.

Rawlings Gold Glove Awards
The nominees for each position were announced on Oct. 28, and the winners were announced Nov. 7 on ESPN. Nolan Arenado, Harrison Bader, Tommy Edman, Paul Goldschmidt and Tyler O’Neill won NL Gold Glove Awards for the Cardinals, setting an MLB record for most selections from one team. Here's a breakdown of all the winners.