UPDATE: Nevermind. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Rod Barajas will receive $3.25 million. This changes everything.
8:49 PM: And you thought the Juan Uribe contract was silly.
That’s right. According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, the Dodgers have signed Rod Barajas to a one-year, $3.8 million contract.
Yes, that Rod Barajas. The one with a .284 career on-base percentage. The one who couldn’t find a guaranteed major league contract until right before spring training. The one who the Mets gave up on in August.
Ned Colletti was obviously convinced by what he saw down the stretch, as Barajas batted .297/.361/.578 with five home runs, 13 RBI and a 939 OPS over 72 plate appearances as a member of the Dodgers. The thing is, we have 3,083 career plate appearances as evidence that he simply isn’t worthy of a contract like this.
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: