Link-O-Rama: Pudge, Myers, Money, Matsui

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* After filing for free agency Ivan Rodriguez said that he hopes to play 2-3 more seasons and wants to re-sign with the Rangers. To which general manager Jon Daniels replied: “Pudge had a good return to our organization, but we’re still evaluating other options.” Texas likely wants to see how Jarrod Saltalamacchia is doing following shoulder surgery before deciding anything else at catcher.
* MLB.com’s Mark Bowman writes that Philadelphia is in good shape to defend the NL title again in 2010 with a mostly intact roster, but in addition to declining Pedro Feliz’s option the Phillies announced that they won’t attempt to re-sign Brett Myers.
* I’m sure that Yankees fans won’t like it, but SI.com’s Joe Posnanski wrote a good article about the impact of massive payroll disparities across baseball. During the past six years the Yankees have spent, on average, $55 million more than the second-most expensive team.
* The weekend swap of Carlos Gomez for J.J. Hardy is mostly good news for the Twins, but does create a few negative ramifications.
* Hideki Matsui as the replacement for Ken Griffey Jr. in Seattle? Greg Johns of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says maybe.

Aaron Judge set a new postseason strikeout record

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For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:

The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).

It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: