Nick Cafardo on A-Gon, Upton, Crawford, Dodgers, Prior

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No writer packs more valuable information into a Sunday notes column like the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo.  He’s at it again today with details on a variety of big time free agent and trade options.  Let’s review:

  • Though he’s unlikely to be moved this winter or even next summer, so far the White Sox, Cubs, Orioles, Nationals and Red Sox have shown trade interest in San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.  The 28-year-old hit .298/.393/.511 with 31 homers in 2010 and is entering the final year of his tenure with the Padres.
  • Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton has been dangled on the trade market this winter and is drawing interest from the the Mariners, Blue Jays, Marlins, Red Sox and Royals.  It’s going to take a serious package of prospects to lure him away from Arizona’s grasp, but enough clubs are intrigued and it’s quite possible that he is moved this offseason.
  • The Dodgers have a bunch of holes to fill this winter but are seeking one major thing: leadership.  That could come in the form of veterans like Juan Uribe, Johnny Damon and A.J. Pierzynski.
  • Brewers GM Doug Melvin has set a deadline for extension talks with first baseman Prince Fielder.  If talks don’t progress by the end of spring training, the big man is likely to be on the trade market next summer.
  • Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett is drawing trade interest from the Giants, Orioles and Nationals.  Bartlett was a disappointment in 2010, and Tampa is prepared to go with Reid Brignac at short.
  • The Angels have already engaged in serious talks with free agent outfielder Carl Crawford and appear to be the front-runner for his services.  He’s thought to be seeking a contract worth north of $100 million.
  • The Brewers and Nationals are moving “swiftly” on free agent starter Carl Pavano.  He registered a 3.75 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over 32 starts this year for the Twins.
  • Three teams are interested in signing Mark Prior, but he’s not totally set on a comeback.  That decision should come soon.

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.