Nationals and Stephen Strasburg agree to a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration

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The Nationals and right-handed starter Stephen Strasburg have agreed to a one-year, $3.975 million deal with performance bonuses, avoiding arbitration. The report comes to us from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Strasburg, 25, was eligible for arbitration for the first time and is entering 2014 with the momentum of back-to-back solid seasons. He posted a 3.16 ERA in 28 starts in 2012 and an even 3.00 ERA in 30 starts this past season. Additionally, the only starters with a higher strikeout rate than Strasburg since the start of 2012 are Yu Darvish and Max Scherzer. If Strasburg continues to improve in 2014, he’ll make his remaining two years of arbitration eligibility interesting for the Nationals in terms of figuring out an enticing figure for a multi-year contract extension.

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.