Athletics acquire reliever Chris Resop from Pirates

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The Pirates announced earlier this evening that they traded reliever Chris Resop to the Athletics in exchange for right-hander Zach Thornton.

Resop earned $850,000 this past season while posting a 3.91 ERA and 46/24 K/BB ratio over 73 2/3 innings. While the 30-year-old right-hander did a better job limiting walks and inducing ground balls, he averaged just 5.6 K/9. That’s a huge decline from the 10.4 K/9 he averaged from 2010-2011. The Pirates evidently didn’t think it was worth giving him a raise for 2013 and were able to find a match before tonight’s 11:59 p.m. non-tender deadline.

Thornton, 24, posted a 4.53 ERA and 70/19 K/BB ratio over 53 2/3 innings this season with High-A Stockton. He has a 3.29 ERA and 9.9 K/9 over his first three seasons as a pro, but has only pitched one game above the High-A level.

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.