After a couple of months of looking like the guy who would be left without a seat in the great closer musical chairs game of 2009-2010, Jose Valverde finally has some offers according to Yahoo!’s Tim Brown. Four to be precise, including one from the Tigers and one from the Diamondbacks. MLB Trade Rumors notes that the Blue Jays, Marlins, A’s and Pirates could all use an experienced closer like Valverde, but that none of them seem poised to pay him what he probably wants.
For the record, here are the notable closer deals so far this winter, in most to least palatable contracts:
- Mike Gonzalez, Orioles, two years, $12 million;
- Billy Wagner, Braves, one year, $7 million;
- Fernando Rodney, Angels, two years, $11 million;
- Brandon Lyon, Astros, three years, $15 million.
I figure that Valverde wouldn’t get a multi-year deal, but you never know what the Tigers are going to do. Let’s pull one year, $5 million with some incentives out of our rear, shall we?
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: