Mariners put Jason Vargas, Kevin Millwood on trade waivers

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That’s the word from FOXsports.com’s Ken Rosenthal:

I can’t help but think the Dodgers would put claims in both, though it’s entirely possible neither will make it out of the American League unclaimed.

Vargas, 29, is 13-8 with a 3.75 ERA  and a 111/45 K/BB ratio in 180 innings this season. Not only is he cheap this year, but he’s under control for another year in arbitration. He’ll probably make $6 million-$8 million in 2013.

Millwood, 37, is a free agent at season’s end. He’s 4-11 with a 4.28 ERA and a 100/48 K/BB ratio in 145 innings. He’s especially struggled of late, posting a 5.76 ERA in five starts this month. However, he has been a surprisingly solid pitcher away from Safeco Field this year, amassing a 4.38 ERA in 13 starts.Vargas, in comparison, has a 4.62 ERA in his road outings.

The Orioles were known to have interest in Vargas before the trade deadline and might well put in a claim now, even though they just picked up Joe Saunders from Arizona. The Angels and Tigers might also be in the mix here. The Angels have the worst record of any AL contender, so they would seem to have first dibs unless a non-contender claims Vargas thinking he can help in 2013.

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.