As expected, Brewers' Yelich wins National League MVP

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THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) -- Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich was close to a unanimous pick for the NL honor. Yelich also won a batting championship and led the Brewers to a division title.

Yelich didn’t join the Brewers until he was dealt to Milwaukee last January by the payroll-paring Miami Marlins.

“I’m thankful it all worked out because being traded, you never know how it’s going to be,” Yelich said. “Luckily for myself, it all went amazing.”

Yelich is signed through 2021 and his deal includes a team option for the following season.

Yelich got 29 first-place votes and 415 points, and the other first-place vote went to New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom, the NL Cy Young Award winner, who finished fifth. Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez was second with 250 points, followed by Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado with 203.

Yelich won the first batting title in Brewers history with a .326 average. He set career highs with 36 homers and 110 RBIs and had a 1.000 OPS.

Yelich nearly became the NL’s first Triple Crown winner since Joe Medwick in 1937, finishing two homers shy of Arenado and one RBI back of Baez. Yelich was especially impressive in the second half, hitting .367 with 25 homers and 67 RBIs — including 11 homers in August and 10 in September.

Milwaukee reached the playoffs for the first time in seven years, swept Colorado in the Division Series then lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in a seven-game League Championship Series, falling one win short of its first World Series appearance since 2002.

Yelich gets a $100,000 bonus for winning, and the price of the 2022 team option in his contract increased by $1 million to $16 million.

Yelich celebrated in Southern California with family and friends, including teammates Ryan Braun and now free agent Mike Moustakas. Heisman Trophy winner and Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield was also there to celebrate.

Yelich is from Westlake Village, California, near the site of a recent mass shooting and the Southern California wildfires. He wore a Los Angeles Fire Department cap during TV interviews.

“Almost everyone had to be evacuated, just from the Thousand Oaks, Westlake, Malibu area,” he said. “We were fortunate enough to make it with no damage, A lot of people, unfortunately, were not able to say the same.”