TORONTO (AP) _ The outcome in the American League East wasn't quite settled in Exhibition Stadium over the weekend, but another race might have been.

George Bell, the slugging Toronto outfielder, all but pulled the Most Valuable Player rug out from under Detroit shortstop Alan Trammell.

It's not that Trammell, who has been one of the hottest hitters in the American League this month, did anything to hurt himself. After all, he extended his hitting streak to 16 games Sunday.

It's just that the MVP almost always comes from the winning team and the Blue Jays are in the drivers seat after taking three of four.

In fact, Trammell says he'd vote for Bell, if he had a vote.

''I've had a good season, I guess, but when I look at his numbers, they don't compare,'' Trammell said. ''Also, we've had a number of people contribute. He's pretty much carried their club.''

Bell doesn't talk to reporters, so it's hard to know who he'd vote for.

But, here's a hint. Bell stopped talking to reporters after Toronto writers overlooked him for the team MVP award in 1984, giving it instead to Dave Collins.

But that doesn't take away from what Trammell and Bell have done this season.

After Sunday's game, Trammell was batting .344 with 27 home runs and leading the team with 102 RBI.

All the while continuing to play shortstop as well as anyone in baseball and batting No. 4 in the lineup.

Bell was hitting .316 with a league-leading 47 home runs and 134 RBI.

The Blue Jays get upset when people say that Bell has carried their club.

''There's no question George has had a great year,'' catcher Ernie Whitt said. ''He's the MVP without a doubt.

''But we take great pride in the fact everybody has an important role to play - and does.''