The award, in my opinion, is about who performed the best. Not the incremental value you have over who you would be playing over. If Miguel Cabrera put up this season with the Mets (and Mike Trout did not exist), I would consider him the most valuable player, even if it means that David Wright was rotting on the bench. There is a difference in being the most valuable player in baseball, and providing incremental value to your team.Beyond that, every team has different needs. For instance, Miggy Cabrera would have a bigger impact on the Yankees than Mike Trout. Trout would have a bigger impact on the Mets. And if I had to guess, Robinson Cano would provide more value to more teams than either of them just because of position scarcity.
While that is close to my position, it's not necessarily the case. I don't just read the WAR stat and determine who I think is the most valuable player in baseball. It's a guideline. To my earlier point - let's imagine a retrospective draft. The season has been played, and you get to draft a team, and you can pick any player's season, who would you take? I think that selecting Mike Trout would give me the best chance to win baseball games. I would select him due to his exceptional bat (inferior to Cabrera's but exceptional), his outstanding defense (far superior to Cabrera), his outstanding baserunning (far superior to Cabrera), as well as position scarcity. I do not think Cabrera's superiority with the bat exceeds the value he loses to Trout in the other categories. I don't need the WAR stat to tell me that. There is a lot more to baseball than just being good with the bat (in Cabrera's defense, is beyond good, maybe even beyond "great"). I believe that Trout is the more valuable all around player because of the multiple facets of the game in which he excels.If your position is "all I need is WAR" that's your prerogative, but my perspective is that's an awfully narrow band when considering the topic of MVP.
The fact that the Angels did not make the playoffs, does not make Trout any less valuable of a player. Yes his season went to "waste" because it didn't result in a playoff appearance for the Angels, but why punish him for his inept team? I believe he still provided the most value as an individual player than any other player in baseball this season.