New York Yankees opening-day starter Masahiro Tanaka said his fastball speed could drop this season as he makes adjustments to the way he throws.
Speaking through a translator Saturday, two days before he'll pitch in New York's regular-season opener against Toronto, the Japanese righthander said he'll be throwing more two-seam fastballs than four-seamers.
"I'm trying to establish a certain pitching style for me this year, so maybe it isn't the wisest to ask for velocity from me," Tanaka said.
He added that he was changing his mechanics, "trying to relax a little bit more."
Tanaka finished fifth in AL rookie of the year voting last season, despite being hurt for much of the second half. He went 13-5 with a 2.77 ERA.
Yordano Ventura and the Kansas City Royals reached a $23 million, five-year deal, two days before the young ace is set the start the opener for the AL champions.
With a 100 m.p.h. fastball and one World Series win to his credit, Ventura committed to the Royals through the 2019 season.
Ventura went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA and 159 strikeouts in 2014.
The New York Mets will start the season with an eight-man bullpen, leaving only four position players on the bench.
Utilityman Eric Campbell was optioned to triple-A Las Vegas, among several moves the Mets announced while getting closer to finalizing their 25-man roster.
Righthander Eric Goeddel was also optioned to Las Vegas, while catcher Johnny Monel, infielders Daniel Muno and Matt Reynolds, and righthander Zack Thornton were reassigned to the triple-A club.
New York on Sunday plans to put pitchers Zack Wheeler, Bobby Parnell, Vic Black, and Josh Edgin on the 15-day disabled list. All those moves will be retroactive to March 27.
San Francisco Giants outfielder and first baseman Travis Ishikawa will start the season on the disabled list with a back injury.
Manager Bruce Bochy said Ishikawa was in Arizona and beginning to hit off a tee in his rehabilitation. Without Ishikawa, whose game-ending home run sent the eventual champion Giants to the World Series last October, there's an open spot for a 13th pitcher or extra infielder.