Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that free agent outfielder Shane Victorino is drawing interest from at least seven teams, including the Reds, Indians, Yankees, Rangers, Giants, Rays and Red Sox. While that’s one less than was reported by Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald earlier this month, that’s a pretty healthy market.
Victorino is coming off his worst season in the big leagues, but Heyman hears that several teams are willing to offer him at least three years. That’s what happens when you have extensive experience in center field and represent a cheaper alternative to the likes of Michael Bourn and B.J. Upton. Of course, Victorino wouldn’t be a center fielder for all seven teams listed above, but he has expressed a willingness to play a corner outfield spot if the price is right.
Victorino, who turns 32 on Friday, batted .255/.321/.383 with 11 home runs, 55 RBI and a .704 OPS this past season between the Phillies and Dodgers. He was an excellent 39-for-45 in stolen base attempts.
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.