Los Angeles Angels two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani and Atlanta Braves phenom outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. were named the runaway winners of the Rookie of the Year in the American and National League, respectively, on Monday.
Ohtani received 25 of 30 first-place votes in besting Miguel Andujar (five first-place votes) and Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees for the AL honor. Acuna received 27 first-place votes in beating out the Washington Nationals’ Juan Soto (two) and Los Angeles Dodgers’ Walker Buehler (one).
Ohtani, 24, is the third Angels player to win the award, and first since Mike Trout in 2012. He is the fourth Japanese-born player to take home the honor in either league, joining Ichiro Suzuki (2001), Kazuhiro Sasaki (2000) and Hideo Nomo (1995).
Acuna, 20, is the eighth Brave to win the NL award; the last Atlanta player to take home the honor was Craig Kimbrel in 2011. Acuna joins Luis Aparicio in 1956 and Ozzie Guillen in 1985 as the only native Venezuelans to be named Rookie of the Year.
—Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu accepted the team’s one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer, bypassing the opportunity to become a free agent.
Ryu was the only one of seven players to accept his qualifying offer prior to the 5 p.m. ET deadline. Declining offers were Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, Houston Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel, Boston Red Sox right-handed closer Craig Kimbrel and the Arizona Diamondbacks combo of left-hander Patrick Corbin and outfielder A.J. Pollock.
Ryu is just the sixth player to accept the qualifying offer since the system started in 2012. The others were Brett Anderson, Jeremy Hellickson, Neil Walker, Colby Rasmus and Matt Wieters.
—An emotional Joe Mauer said his farewells to the Minnesota Twins, making his retirement from his hometown team official.
“I’m 100 percent behind the decision, and look forward to the next chapter in my life,” Mauer said at a news conference at Target Field. “I still feel like I could compete at this level ... but I made the right decision.”
Mauer, 35, was born in St. Paul, Minn., and never had to leave home. The Twins made the catcher the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft, and he was called up to the majors for good in the 2005 season. Mauer said he plans to remain in Minnesota and perhaps one day play a role in the organization.
—Field Level Media