Reliever Mike Dunn nearing a three-year deal with the Rockies

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that free-agent lefty reliever Mike Dunn and the Rockies are close to a three-year deal that will pay Dunn $19 million.

Dunn has spent the past six seasons with the Marlins where he has averaged 68 appearances a season while posting a K/BB ratio of 357/150 over 328 innings. For his career he has held lefties to a line of .228/.309/.330. He’s no specialist, necessarily, though, as he has faced more right-handed batters than lefties. Against them he’s allowed a line of .239/.339/.408.

He’s a solid and reliable reliever, though certainly not a superstar. That price tag, however — the three-year commitment as opposed to the dollars themselves — tells you just how crazy teams have gone for bullpen help these days.

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.