The Reds announced on Twitter that the club has signed reliever Kevin Gregg to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the right-hander will get a $1.5 million base salary and can earn more money based on games appeared in and games finished. Gregg had showcased for about half the league last month.
Gregg, 36, was only able to throw nine innings in the major leagues with the Marlins last season, allowing 10 runs on 11 hits with a 6/5 K/BB ratio. He underwent surgery to remove bone chips in his right elbow in August. Gregg, however, was productive out of the bullpen for the Cubs in 2013, so there’s a chance he still has something left in the tank.
The Reds also bolstered their bullpen by signing Burke Badenhop to a one-year deal on Saturday.
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.