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Angels sign Ben Revere to one-year, $4 million deal

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The Angels signed outfielder Ben Revere to a one-year, $4 million contract on Friday, per a club announcement. The 28-year-old stands to make another $2.25 million in incentives depending on the number of plate appearances he logs with the Angels in 2017 (via FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman).

After splitting time in center and left field with the Nationals in 2016, Revere figures to platoon with Cameron Maybin in left field going forward. Jeff Fletcher of the OC Register pegs Revere as insurance in case Maybin struggles or gets injured, though Revere has seen plenty of his own troubles over the last year. The outfielder was non-tendered by the Nationals after slashing a career-worst .217/.260/.300 with two home runs and 14 stolen bases in 375 PA last season. Part of his decline can be attributed to a right oblique strain that kept him sidelined until the first week of May, however, and should he return a fraction of the .285/.320/.342 career line that marked his best years with the Twins, Phillies and Blue Jays, the Angels should see significant improvement in what has become a problem spot for them over the last few seasons.

With Revere on the books, the Angels designated first baseman/left fielder Ji-Man Choi for assignment. Choi made his major league debut with Anaheim in 2016, batting just .170/.271/.339 with five home runs in 129 PA.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

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Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.

Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.

Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

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Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.

It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.

While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.

The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”