Cabrera finished fourth in the American League MVP voting on Monday with 171 total points, including one first-place vote. The MVP award went to the Twins' Joe Mauer, who ran away with the honor with 387 points. The Yankees' Mark Teixeira was second with 225 points, and teammate Derek Jeter placed third with 193 points.
Mauer and Cabrera were the only players to receive a first-place vote. Mauer had 27 of them.
Cabrera's season might have been easy to overlook, given the general disappointment surrounding the Tigers' offense in 2009. But he was a bright spot for Detroit all season long and a major reason why the club was in the thick of the AL Central fight until the season's 163rd game.
Cabrera hit .324 with 34 homers and 103 RBIs in 2009, giving him a batting average that was fourth best in the league, while his .396 on-base percentage and .547 slugging percentage ranked sixth in the AL, giving him an OPS that ranked fifth. And when you consider that Cabrera either drove in or scored 165 of the Tigers' 743 runs overall, you see just how valuable he was to the club.
However, Cabrera's season didn't end well. With the division title on the line, he went 0-for-11 in three games against the White Sox on the final weekend of the regular season, and he became the center of unwelcome attention after an early morning phone call to the police from his wife on the penultimate day of the regular season.
Cabrera is the fourth Tigers player to crack the top 10 in the MVP voting over the past four years. Carlos Guillen finished 10th in 2006, and Magglio Ordonez and Curtis Granderson finished second and 10th, respectively, in '07.
The last Tigers player to win the award was reliever Willie Hernandez in 1984.
Two other Tigers -- Justin Verlander and Placido Polanco -- didn't finish anywhere near the top but did get some consideration. Verlander, who went 19-9 with a 3.45 ERA and led the league with 269 strikeouts, finished 20th, with one sixth-place vote and one ninth-place vote. Second baseman Polanco, who batted .285 with 10 homers and 72 RBIs, finished 25th, with one ninth-place vote.