Boston has released outfielder Grady Sizemore after designating him for assignment yesterday.
That means he’s now a free agent and able to sign with any team for any salary, presumably leading to a minor-league contract and a stint at Triple-A somewhere in the near future. It’s not surprising that the Red Sox couldn’t find taker for him via trade.
Sizemore’s nice start with the Red Sox quickly turned sour, as he hit just .187 with zero homers and a .530 OPS in his final 43 games. He’s still just 31 years old, but Sizemore hasn’t been healthy and effective in the same season since way back in 2009 and has been one of the worst regulars in the league this year.
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.