Red Sox, Dustin Pedroia agree to a contract extension

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Rob Bradford of WEEI has the news:

And to clarify:

This seems pretty spiffy for all sides, yes? The Sox lock up the foundation of their offense, defense and clubhouse all at an annual rate that is better than a lot of teams’ top stars get. Yes, he may not look great at the end of that deal given his age now and the fact that he’s a second baseman, but (a) he’s been a bargain for his entire career before now; and (b) it’s not like there are freely-available Dustin Pedroia replacements out there on the market. The next one out there would’ve been, well, Dustin Pedroia, and by the time he’s a free agent his price will likely be way, way higher. I guess you could count Robinson Cano, but he’s gonna cost way more than $15 million a year.

The Sox did well here. Especially given that we live in a time when most elite players are getting locked up way before they hit the market.  You can’t just buy a team anymore. Ask the Yankees about that.

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.