As expected, Jayson Werth has signed with Scott Boras. I think Werth was already shaping up to be one of the most interesting free agent choices in some time, but this adds to the intrigue.
His 2010 season was being talked about like it was a disappointment for much of the early part of the season, but you look up and you realize that he leads the Phillies in OPS, out-slugging Ryan Howard. He has started more games and has had more plate appearances than anyone on the team. The guy everyone thinks will make Werth expendable — Domonic Brown — is apparently not ready for prime time yet, batting .214/.242/.375 in limited play. And then Werth goes and pulls the hero act with that blast yesterday, causing my Twitter feed to fill up with a bunch of #resignJaysonWerth hash tags from Phillies people.
At the same time, Werth is 31 years-old and the Phillies ridiculously overpaid for Howard recently, putting their financial flexibility into some doubt. Boras isn’t known for having clients who sign hometown discounts, and that’s even before you remember that Werth’s hometown is in the Midwest, not Philly.
Ultimately I think he fits best with Philly and they probably need him the most. But as the season has gone on, the likelihood of that happening has gotten lower and lower, I’d say.
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: