Marlins add MacDougal to bullpen picture

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The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports that the Marlins and Mike MacDougal have agreed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
MacDougal, 32, had to a take a minor league deal despite saving 20 games in 21 chances for the Nationals last season. He had a 3.60 ERA in 50 innings for the team, but his 31/31 K/BB ratio left less reason for optimism.
The Marlins will treat him as insurance for Leo Nunez in the closer’s role. Nunez was 23-for-27 after replacing Matt Lindstrom in the ninth inning last year. He finished with a 4.06 ERA in 68 2/3 innings.

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.