Twins lock up Mauer for $184 million

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The Twins got it done Sunday, signing 2009 AL MVP Joe Mauer to an eight-year, $184 million contract extension through 2018.
The deal, which includes a no-trade clause, averages $23 million per season. It’s the fourth-largest pact in major league history, behind the 10-year deals signed by Alex Rodriguez ($275 million in 2008, $252 million in 2001) and Derek Jeter ($189 million in 2001).
Mauer’s 2010 salary of $12.5 million remains intact, so the Twins now have their catcher under control for nine years, or through his age-35 season. One can’t help but wonder if he’ll still be a catcher then or if he’ll come close to resembling a $23 million-per-year player, but that the Twins were able to retain one of the game’s two-best players is a huge coup for the short-term.

Watch: Christian Yelich continues to make a case for NL MVP repeat

Christian Yelich
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Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.

The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.

While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.

Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.

It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.