(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez is headed back to the New York Yankees as the American League's Most Valuable Player.
A-Rod won his third AL MVP award Monday, easily defeating Detroit's Magglio Ordonez after compiling an astounding season at the plate. Rodriguez received 26 first-place votes and 382 points in balloting by the Baseball Writers' Association of America, while Ordonez had two firsts and 258 points.
Rodriguez won his first MVP in 2003, his last season with the Texas Rangers. He also won with the Yankees in 2005 -- but he's never played in a World Series.
"There's definitely a huge hole in the resume," he said. "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."
He's spoken with quarterback John Elway about the need for a title to validate a career.
"Definitely the exclamation point in his career was the two championships at the end, and I have tremendous faith that I will be a world champion," Rodriguez said. "What better place to do it than in New York?"
Rodriguez started the year with 14 homers in his first 18 games, hit .314 for the season and led the majors with 54 homers, 156 RBIs and 143 runs. He was the first player since New York's Roger Maris in 1961 to lead the majors in homers, RBIs and runs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
An 11-time All-Star, Rodriguez became the ninth player to win the MVP three or more times. Barry Bonds holds the record with seven.