Pirates strike minor league contract with Brandon Inge

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Danny Knobler of CBS Sports has the scoop:

Brandon Inge is close to signing with the Pirates, according to sources.

Inge is expected to sign a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training.

The 35-year-old infielder batted just .218/.275/.383 across 331 plate appearances last season between the Tigers and Athletics. But he does boast some pop, which is something that has been missing from the Pirates’ bench over the past few summers.

Inge has averaged 17 home runs for every 162 games over the course of his 12-year MLB career.

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UPDATE, 9:43 PM: The deal has been agreed upon, according to MLB.com’s Tom Singer.

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: