Cubs have interest in free agent Brandon Webb

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Veteran hurler Brandon Webb hasn’t pitched in a major league game since the start of the 2009 season because of chronic shoulder issues.  But that hasn’t stopped teams from calling about the right-hander, who is now a free agent.

Sources told Ed Price of AOL Fanhouse this weekend that the Cubs are now in the running for Webb.  The Dodgers and Nationals are also interested, and the Diamondbacks have some level of interest in re-signing him.

Chicago, though, almost seems like the best fit.

The Cubs could use a guy to slot in behind Ryan Dempster, Carlos Zambrano, Randy Wells and Tom Gorzelanny.  Webb might not be at his best anymore, but if he gets the velocity up on his sinker and continues to build arm strength, there is little doubt that he will be able to eat some innings.

Now it’s all about price.  How much can a 31-year-old with a Cy Young Award to his name but a lack of recent experience command on the open market?  He will almost certainly have to settle for a one-year contract, but the Cubs can always pack it with incentives and hope for the best.

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: