Christian Yelich takes home the NL MVP
Mookie Betts is the American League MVP, which we learned officially last night but really knew was coming for at least a couple of months now. The same could be said for the National League side, that probably deserved more drama than it had but in reality has been a foregone conclusion since around mid-September. To no one’s surprise, Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich took home the top individual honor in the National League, taking 29 of 30 first place votes. This was obviously a well-deserved honor for the former Marlin, particularly after a scorching-hot second half helped lead Milwaukee to a division title over the Cubs and the best record in the National League. Yelich did everything well for the Brewers this year and is going to be one of the NL’s top players for years to come. There was a small bit of controversy over this not being unanimous, with the one other first place vote going to the fifth-place finished Jacob deGrom. That seems wild, but really it’s not. There is certainly an argument that deGrom was the best player in the National League in 2018, and there is an argument that the best player is the same thing as the most valuable. Obviously, there are opinions on both that and the very idea of a pitcher winning MVP, but I thought it was a fine vote and kind of wish more voters were willing to go off-book like this.
You can see the voting results in their entirety here.
Jeff Mathis signs a two-year deal with Rangers
It’s a tradition unlike any other, and one of the true signs of the major-league offseason. Folks, it’s time for me to say “Holy shit Jeff Mathis is still in baseball?” Mathis made his major-league debut way back in 2005, and he’s been one of the very worst hitters in baseball basically every single year. And yet, he keeps getting work. It’s easy to laugh that off, but it’s not fair to Mathis to only point at the offense. He keeps getting work, and there’s a reason for that. Defense matters at catcher more than anywhere else, and Mathis is one of the best backstops in baseball year after year. He’s technically sound, and pitchers rave about throwing at him every spot he lands. All of that has earned him a two-year deal with the Rangers, which means I can’t have another Jeff Mathis Moment until 2020.