The MVP, Cy Young, and Rookie of the Year awards will still be dished out in November by the BBWAA. But Major League Baseball is branching out and creating a new batch of awards, focusing on the opinions of fans and centered around social media. The Esurance MLB Awards won’t replace baseball’s established awards, but instead will complement them. Yahoo’s Mike Oz compared the BBWAA Awards and the Esurance Awards to the Oscars and MTV Movie Awards, which seems like a decent enough comparison to me.

The Esurance Awards have less rigid definitions than the BBWAA awards. There’s no debate about the meaning of the word “valuable” – their version of the MVP award has been broken up into “Best Major Leaguer” and “Best Everyday Player” awards. There also won’t be any undue love for relievers in Cy Young voting – starting pitchers have their own award, while relievers are left out in the cold.

There also aren’t any league-specific awards – both AL and NL players are grouped together. That’ll inevitably benefit players like Yoenis Cespedes who are traded from one league to another in the middle of a season.

But the Esurance Awards also have some categories you would never see the BBWAA consider. Best social media personality? Best social media post? Best celebrity fan? Best fan catch? They’re all categories, as are best TV call and best radio call, which were clearly created for AA readers.

The Esurance Awards have also absorbed MLB Network’s yearly awards and MLB.com’s GIBBY awards, which had many of the same categories as the new awards.

Voting is currently open for the Best Major Leaguer, Best Everyday Player, Best Starting Pitcher, and Best Rookie awards, while the nominees for Best Defensive Player, Best Bounceback Player, and Best Breakout Player will be revealed next week.

The nominees for Best Manager and Best Executive will be revealed on October 8th, while the Best Major Leaguer, Postseason nominees will be announced when the World Series concludes. Nominees for the other 14 categories will be announced on October 6th, the day of the first Wild Card playoff game.

[Yahoo]

About Joe Lucia

I hate your favorite team. I also sort of hate most of my favorite teams.