Stephen Strasburg is scaling back his pitching repertoire in 2017

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Stephen Strasburg plans to utilize his slider/cutter less in 2017, according to a report by MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The right-hander was sidelined in August and September with a strained flexor mass in his right arm and believes his chronic elbow issues stemmed from an increased usage of the pitch during the 2016 season.

Strasburg debuted his slider back in 2014, but didn’t start incorporating it into his regular routine until 2016. Brooks Baseball estimates suggest that the slider accounted for 17.16% of the 28-year-old’s pitches, ousting his changeup as the second-most common pitch in his repertoire. Whether his decision will bring his curveball and sinker usage back up from their all-time low totals in 2016 or whether he’ll simply lean a little harder on his change remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure, though: Strasburg doesn’t want to eliminate his newfound pitch entirely, as he credits it with his ability to get more outs early in counts (via Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post).

It’s a proactive move for the right-hander, who appears to have returned to full health after multiple stints on the disabled list. He’ll resume his throwing program in January and, barring any unusual setbacks, should be good to go by spring.

Bogaerts reportedly heading to the Padres for 11 years, $280 million

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Padres and Xander Bogaerts agreed to a blockbuster 11-year, $280 million contract, adding the All-Star slugger to an already deep lineup.

A person familiar with the negotiations confirmed the contract to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because it was pending a physical.

The Padres already had Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop, but he missed the entire season because of injuries and an 80-game suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

San Diego also met with Aaron Judge and Trea Turner before the big stars opted for different teams. The Padres reached the NL Championship Series this year before losing to the Phillies.

“From our standpoint, you want to explore and make sure we’re looking at every possible opportunity to get better,” general manager A.J. Preller said before the Bogaerts deal surfaced. “We’ve got a real desire to win and do it for a long time.”

The 30-year-old Bogaerts was one of the headliners in a stellar group of free-agent shortstops that also included Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

Bogaerts, who’s from Aruba, terminated his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston after the season. The four-time All-Star forfeited salaries of $20 million for each of the next three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBIs in 150 games.

Bogaerts is a .292 hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBIs in 10 big league seasons – all with Boston. He helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 and 2018.

Bogaerts becomes the latest veteran hitter to depart Boston after the Red Sox traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020. Rafael Devers has one more year of arbitration eligibility before he can hit the market.

Bogaerts had his best big league season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBIs. He had 23 homers and 103 RBIs in 2018.

In 44 postseason games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with five homers and 16 RBIs.