Cardinals’ GM denies team has deal in place with Roy Oswalt

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There was increasing chatter late last night about Roy Oswalt closing in on an agreement with the Cardinals. Gordon Edes of ESPNBoston.com was even told by a source that the veteran right-hander was headed to St. Louis. Those reports were downplayed early this morning and now we have an official denial from the team’s general manager.

Matthew Leach of MLB.com was told by Cardinals GM John Mozeliak via email this morning that rumors of an agreement are “not true.” Another club official indicated that no roster moves appear to be imminent.

Does this mean it won’t happen? Of course not. We’ve heard multiple times this week that Oswalt wants to pitch closer in proximity to his Mississippi home and would prefer to join either the Cardinals or the Rangers. And it sounds like he means business. According to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com, Oswalt recently turned down a one-year, $10 million contract from the Tigers. It’s highly unlikely he’ll get that much guaranteed cash from anyone else.

UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that while the Rangers are interested in Oswalt, they have not made him an offer.

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: