According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Cuban infielder Hector Olivera had a private workout with the Braves on Sunday morning in the Dominican Republic. Badler writes that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and assistant GM John Coppolella were both in attendance, along with a number of special assistants and the organization’s top two scouts.
Olivera is drawing a ton of major league interest after batting .316/.412/.474 during the 2013-2014 season in Cuba’s Serie Nacional. He turns 30 years old in April, but both contenders and rebuilders (like the Braves) are being connected to him. Olivera is expected to sign as a second or third baseman.
The Giants, A’s, Padres, Rangers, and Yankees are among the other teams with reported interest.
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.