Rangers avoid arbitration with O’Day, ink $1.215M contract

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The Rangers can file another arbitration case as closed.

According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, side-arming reliever Darren O’Day has agreed to a $1.215 million salary for 2011.

O’Day requested $1.4 million and the Rangers countered at $1.05 million when arbitration figures were filed last week.  They found a middle ground over the last couple of days.

The 28-year-old right-hander delivered a fantastic 2.08 ERA and 0.89 WHIP across 72 appearances last season, fanning 45 batters and walking only 12.  He’s been a very reliable bullpener now for two straight seasons and could push his 2012 salary to serious heights with a strong outcome this year.  Josh Hamilton and Frank Francisco are the only arbitration-eligible players left unsigned for Texas.

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.