Dan Haren, Edwin Jackson could be trade bait

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Rosenthal’s latest column reveals that the Diamondbacks “are discussing internally the possibility” of trading starters Dan Haren and Edwin Jackson. That sounds about two steps removed from something actually happening, but let’s talk about it anyway.

Haren would be a great pickup by a contender. Sure, he’s got a 5.56 ERA, but his K/9 ratio (9.2) and his K/BB (5.07) are just spiffy. Ground balls with eyes? A few too many dying quails? Maybe. Fact is, the guy is a freakin’ horse, having logged no fewer than 216 innings since coming over to Oakland in the Mark Mulder deal.

Jackson is obviously less of a prize. Electric when he’s on but frustratingly inconsistent, he has earned far more of his 6.03 ERA than Haren has.  He’s a play for starting depth more than anything. And he could be a good one at that. After all, he was a part of the 2008 Rays rotation, so you can win with this guy.

I think the larger point to be taken from this is that the starting pitching pool at this year’s deadline — already pretty deep — is getting deeper.

Red Sox to extend protective netting at Fenway Park in 2018

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The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”

Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.

After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.