Jeremy Jeffress elects free agency

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Jeremy Jeffress passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment by the Blue Jays earlier this month, but Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the right-hander has elected free agency rather than accept an assignment to Triple-A Buffalo.

While it was reported over the winter that the Blue Jays were considering using Jeffress as a starter, he entered spring training as a reliever and won a spot in the team’s bullpen to begin the year. However, he allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings over three appearances before getting the boot.

Selected No. 16 overall by the Brewers in 2006, Jeffress owns a 4.47 ERA and 50/38 K/BB ratio over 52 1/3 innings in the majors. The 26-year-old throws hard, but he has yet to show that he can consistency throw strikes. Still, it probably won’t be long before he finds an opportunity elsewhere.

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: