Alex Rodriguez, set to sign a blockbuster new deal with the New York Yankees, won his third American League Most Valuable Player Award on Monday after a dominating Major League Baseball season.
The Yankees third baseman led the major leagues with 54 home runs, 156 runs batted in and 143 runs scored. Rodriguez, an American of Dominican heritage, also batted .314 and stole 24 bases after a disappointing campaign last year.
"From a personal level, it was very satisfying to be able to come back from '06 and show the world what kind of player I am, on the greatest stage in the world, which is the Yankees," Rodriguez said.
But Rodriguez is still hungry for the title which has eluded him, a World Series championship.
"It's my third MVP and I'm here to say that I would trade all three for one world championship. I wouldn't think twice about it," Rodriguez said. "The only reason we play this game, the reason I came to New York and the reason I have unfinished business in New York is because we haven't won a world championship with me being there."
Rodriguez had 28 first-place votes and 382 points overall in voting by a US media panel to two first-place ballots and 258 points for runner-up Magglio Ordonez, a 33-year-old Detroit outfielder who hit .363 with 28 homers and 139 runs batted in.
Vladimir Guerrero of the Los Angeles Angels was third with Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz fourth.
Rodriguez previously won the award in 2005 while with the Yankees and in 2003 while playing for the Texas Rangers. The only player to win more than three league MVP awards is US all-time home run king Barry Bonds with seven.
Eight days after his 32nd birthday, Rodriguez became the youngest player to reach 500 career home runs.
The expectation for Rodriguez, barring injury, to surpass Bonds is so huge that it was part of the negotiations in his new 10-year deal worth US$275 million to return to the Yankees.