Red Sox bring back outfielder Ryan Sweeney on minor league contract

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Fresh off the news of Ryan Kalish’s latest shoulder surgery, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that the Red Sox have brought back outfielder Ryan Sweeney on a minor league deal. He’ll also receive an invite to spring training.

Sweeney, who turns 28 next month, batted .260/.303/.373 with zero homers, 16 RBI and a .675 OPS in 63 games with Boston in 2012. His season came to an early end in late July after he injured his left hand by punching a door at Fenway Park. The injury eventually required season-ending surgery.

With Kalish out of the mix, Sweeney will serve as insurance for the outfield during spring training. Per Bradford, he has the ability to elect free agency if he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.