Saturday signings: Masset, Medders

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There’s plenty of activity this weekend, as players and teams settle on
new contracts to avoid arbitration. Here’s a couple deals that were
announced on Saturday:

The Reds signed reliever Nick Masset to a two-year, $2.58 million contract.

Masset entered 2009 as a potential rotation candidate, but ended
up being one of the most trusted arms in Dusty Baker’s bullpen,
amassing a 2.37 ERA and 1.03 WHIP in 76 innings. The 27-year-old
right-hander averaged 8.3 K/9 last season, his highest rate on the
major league level, while inducing groundballs at a rate of 54.1 percent. According to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com,
he will make $1.035 million in 2010 and $1.545 million in
2011, taking care of his first two years of arbitration. He has a
chance to earn even more with incentives.

The Giants and right-hander Brandon Medders avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $820,000 contract.

Medders managed a 3.01 ERA in 61 appearances with the Giants last
season after earning a spot as a non-roster invitee during Spring
Training. Though he has an impressive 3.36 ERA over 196 big league
appearances, he’s always struggled with his command, averaging 4.0 BB/9 during his career. He succeeded with an 80.4 percent strand rate and 4.3 BB/9 last season, suggesting that a regression is likely in store for 2010.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.