Phillies trade reliever Chad Qualls to Yankees

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From Mark Hale of the New York Post comes word that the Yankees have acquired right-handed reliever Chad Qualls from the Phillies for a player to be named later or future cash considerations.

Qualls was designated for assignment by Philly last week after posting a 4.60 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 31 1/3 innings. He’s doubtful to suddenly find success in the American League East, but a change of scenery can sometimes work wonders for a reliever and the Yankees will simply hope for the best.

The Phillies have now made two trades in two days, though both players were expendable. It’s not fair to say the organization is having a fire sale until someone like Cole Hamels starts getting shopped around to different teams. Oh, wait.

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.