Javier Lopez has been linked to several contending teams looking for left-handed bullpen help and the latest is the Yankees, with Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reporting that the two sides have “mutual interest.”
Lopez would replace fellow free agent Boone Logan as the Yankees’ left-handed specialist. In four seasons with the Giants he posted a 2.26 ERA in 147 innings, including a 1.83 ERA this year at age 35. Lopez has held left-handed hitters to a sub-.200 batting average five times in the past six seasons, so he’s basically the ideal southpaw specialist.
Now the question is whether any teams want to offer, say, a three-year contract to a 36-year-old reliever.
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: