Eric Chavez hoping to continue playing career in 2012

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Veteran infielder Eric Chavez was said to be “leaning heavily” toward retirement back in early October, but he never filed papers and has now decided that he’s not yet ready to call it quits.

According to beat writer Wally Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com, Chavez’s agent has been telling front office executives that the 33-year-old will “definitely” return for his 15th major league season and is ready to begin reviewing free agent offers.

Chavez registered a poor .263/.320/.356 batting line across 175 plate appearances this year and missed nearly three months with a foot fracture, but he should be able to find an incentives-based one-year contract from a team desperate for corner infield depth. It’s not yet known whether the Yankees have interest.

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: