Congratulations to Carlos Delgado for winning his third Silver Slugger award as the AL's best hitter at first base, and to Vernon Wells for the first of many as an outfielder. The voting is done by major-league managers and coaches, though they can't vote for their own players. In the Toronto Star
this morning, Allan Ryan also reports that Roy Halladay was the best player in baseball in 2003
, according to the Elias Sports Bureau rankings. Elias' complicated formulas gave Halladay a 98.476 rating on a scale of 100. Boston outfielder Manny Ramirez was second at 98.293, down from last year, when he became just the fifth player with a perfect 100. Los Angeles reliever Eric Gagne, a Montreal native, was third at 97.347.
The ESB rankings are used to determine free agent compensation, and as I expected, Kelvim Escobar is a Type A player, because he was ranked as a reliever. Harder to believe, until you remember it's a two-year ranking, is that Cory Lidle is also Type A, meaning he was in the top 30% of free agent pitchers. The Jays can be sure of two draft picks now by making a qualifying offer to Escobar, but it would be foolish to go to arbitration with Lidle and pay him another $5 million, so he'll almost certainly be non-tendered.