McCutchen in running for MVP


Five finalists for each of the major awards — MVP, Cy Young, manager of the year and rookie of the year — will be announced at 6 p.m. Wednesday on MLB Network. The awards are voted upon by members of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Winners will be announced during a series of hour-long programs on MLB Network on Nov. 12 (rookie of the year), Nov. 13 (managers of the year), Nov. 14 (Cy Young) and Nov. 15 (MVP). Each of four shows will air at 6 p.m.

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen almost certainly will be one of the finalists for National League MVP. Monday, McCutchen was named NL most outstanding player by the Players Choice Awards. I was among the beat writers who submitted a ballot for NL MVP, and I’ll post my choices after the winner is announced next week.

»»» The Pirates signed OF Darren Ford to a minor league contract. At Triple-A Tacoma this year, Ford batted .273 with 26 stolen bases. Currently, he’s playing for Leones del Caracas in the Dominican Winter League (19 games, .244 BA, 4 SB). Ford, 27, played in a total of 33 games with the San Francisco Giants in 2010-11. He figures to provide depth at Triple-A Indianapolis in 2013.

»»» Some winter ball numbers: Starling Marte is batting .314 with one HR and 6 RBI in nine games in the Dominican. Marte has struck out seven times in 35 at-bats. … Gregory Polanco is batting .211 with a .474 OPS in seven games in the DWL. Hoka hey! … Ali Solis is batting .204 in 14 games in Mexico. … Kyle McPherson pitched in one game for Licey in the DWL and is 0-1 with a 15.00 ERA (6 hits, 5 earned runs in 3 innings).

»»» Two guys who played for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys — INF Deacon White (1889) and P/OF Hank O’Day (1884-90) — are among 10 candidates who will be considered by the Pre-Intergration Era Committee for induction into the Hall of Fame. The 16-man committee, which includes Bert Blyleven, Phil Niekro and Don Sutton, will review and vote upon the candidates Dec. 2-3 before the start of the winter meetings in Nashville.