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Greg Holland expected to decline 2018 option, become free agent

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that reliever Greg Holland is expected to pass over his half of his 2018 mutual option worth $10 million to become a free agent. In doing so, he will receive $1 million per his buyout clause.

Holland, 31, had a solid 2017 campaign with the Rockies after missing the entire previous season. He finished with an NL-best 41 saves, as well as a 3.61 ERA with a 70/26 K/BB ratio in 57 1/3 innings. Pitching half his games at Coors Field didn’t mess with his numbers too much as he put up a higher ERA on the road (3.90) than at home (3.34).

Holland was money in the first half (1.62) but struggled in the second half (6.38). That will be something interested teams will consider this offseason, but it’s still likely he will be able to procure a multi-year deal.

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: