Coco Crisp returning to Oakland for two years, $14 million

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Coco Crisp had a tough time finding a multi-year contract elsewhere and the A’s need outfield help after departures by Josh Willingham, David DeJesus, and Ryan Sweeney, so his deciding to return to Oakland makes sense. The price, however, is surprising.

Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that Crisp will get a two-year, $14 million deal that includes a $7.5 million option for 2014.

Two offseasons ago Crisp signed with the A’s as a free agent for a one-year, $5.25 million deal and a $5.75 million second-year option, so his price somehow increased significantly despite playing just 75 games in 2010, hitting .264 with a .314 on-base percentage and .379 slugging percentage in 136 games last season, and being 32 years old.

Crisp also stole a career-high 49 bases in 2011, but he’s been a below-average hitter in five of the past six seasons and has played a total of just 378 of a possible 648 games since 2008 because of injuries. At some point I suppose the A’s had to spend a little money on someone, but a two-year commitment to Crisp is an odd choice.

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: