Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported Friday afternoon that the Cubs and Kerry Wood were getting closer on a one-year deal, but Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com is hearing that the veteran right-hander is still talking to multiple clubs and that a deal with Chicago is “far from done.”
Wood left a lot of money on table last offseason to sign a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Cubs, but the 34-year-old reportedly wants a market value contract this winter after posting a 3.35 ERA and 57/21 K/BB ratio over 51 innings in 2011 while setting up for closer Carlos Marmol.
His opinion may have changed now that the club is headed for a full-scale rebuild, but Wood said after undergoing knee surgery last September that he would retire if the Cubs didn’t bring him back.
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: