Playing devil's advocate...how about "Most Valuable" being interpreted literally (value = dollars), and a combination of:
a) Fans tuning in to see a potential triple crown winner--even though it's a silly statistical construct, it's a historically significant one and thus likely brings in more viewership dollars than a higher-WAR season without as popular a storyline; and
b) Cabrera pushing the Tigers into the playoffs
made Miguel more valuable to the Tigers than Trout, in terms of incremental dollars that his performance brought in.
(This argument would probably have to ignore their relative salaries to work)
It's an interesting viewpoint, but I'm guessing you do have to bring salaries into the equation if you go down that road, and in addition to that, opportunity costs. For instance, not only did Trout make a relative pittance, but his acquisition cost was a draft pick and player development. Detroit had to pay Miguel Cabrera 22 million dollars per year and also had to give up Cameron Maybin in order to acquire him in the first place. Realistically, this year, I doubt Maybin would be substantially more valuable than Quentin Berry so it's not a major thing to consider, but with the Tigers lack off offensive depth, it's worth considering.
I think you would also have to split the relative playoff cost between every player on the team relative to contribution. If the Tigers made X dollars as a result of their playoff birth (not sure if you can assume beyond the LDS considering voting times), Cabrera was a certain amount responsible for that. Prince was part of it, Verlander was part of it, Fister was part of it, etc.
To be honest, I kind of like the viewpoint. With that said, Trout is also in a larger potential viewing market, he and Harper were probably the big story of the middle of the season, and without Trout the Angels aren't even close the relevant in the ALW, all financial considerations too.
Edited by Fishercat, 16 November 2012 - 12:42 PM.