I’m not going to say that the hot stove season moves a bit too fast for its own good these days, but it was probably only a matter of time before this happened:
It turns out that the power-hitting back-up catcher who everyone reported that the Blue Jays had signed earlier this month is still a free agent. The Jays never did sign him, despite getting involved in negotiations with him. I’m not sure how or why it fell through, or if it even got close enough to reach the point where one can even accurately say that it ‘fell through’, but it didn’t happen.
Jorge Arangue reported that Castro signed (or that his signing was imminent). MLB.com had it too. MLB Trade Rumors picked it up. We picked it up. So did a bunch of other people. As I mentioned last week, we’ve gotten to the point where most of us don’t wait around for the official announcement before running with stuff. I’m actually surprised other, low-wattage deals haven’t fallen through, only to escape the notice of the tweeting masses. It’s probably something all of us in the rumor-mongering business should pay a bit closer attention to going forward.
But you know what would be cool? If Castro just showed up at Jays camp like Willie Mays Hayes and acted like he was on the team anyway. Wouldn’t it be awkward if no one said anything until after he beat out John Buck?
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: