One of the age-old debates in sports is how to define the league's MVP.
Should it be the player who finishes the season with the best stat line, no matter what?
The guy with the best stat line on a playoff team?
The best player on the best team?
In the MLB, the extreme length of the season makes it even more difficult to tell who should take the award come the end of the year.
My pal @mchlyang seems to believe that it should be based on individual performance, no matter what. If that's the case, you have to give the NL MVP to Bryce Harper, who has the best stats in the league. It's not even close. Paul Goldschmidt puts up a fight, and Anthony Rizzo is another candidate, but based on individual performance? Harper's the guy.
However, I think contribution to a winning team has to be considered.
I mention Cespedes here not because I'm a Mets fan - the truth is, I don't really care if Cespedes wins the MVP or not (in fact, it's probably better if he doesn't, since if he wins, his contract is going to be that much higher). But the way he has turned this team around makes him, for me at least, the league's most valuable player. By definition.