Adam LaRoche clears waivers, but trade may be difficult

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John Gambadoro of KTAR-620 in Arizona reports that Adam LaRoche has cleared waivers, meaning the Diamondbacks can make him available in trade talks with any team.
LaRoche has hit .272/.339/.489 with 20 homers and 26 doubles in 113 games, which is basically identical to his .273/.342/.492 career line. He’s far from an elite offensive first baseman, but would make for a nice stretch-run pickup for any contender in need of a solid bat from the left side.
However, his contract is why he cleared waivers unclaimed and could make him a tricky target. He’s owed about $1.5 million for the rest of this season and LaRoche’s deal also has a $7.5 million mutual option for 2011 that increases to $9.5 million if he’s traded and includes a $1.5 million buyout.
In other words, unless a contender wants to keep him around for next season at $9.5 million the commitment for this year would be about $3 million for 40 or so games. Depending on how much salary the Diamondbacks are willing to eat, of course.

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: