Skip Schumaker signs two-year deal with the Reds

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Skip Schumaker has agreed to a two-year contract with the Reds, whose general manager Walt Jocketty was GM’ing the Cardinals when they drafted Schumaker back in 2001.

After six seasons with the Cardinals he spent this year as a part-time player for the Dodgers, hitting .263 with two homers and a .665 OPS in 125 games. Schumaker hasn’t topped a .725 OPS since 2009, will be 34 years old soon, and isn’t very good defensively, but he has experience at second base and all three outfield spots and has decent on-base skills.

Still, a multi-year deal for a 34-year-old bench player coming off a so-so season is more evidence that spending is going to be wacky this offseason.

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: