Jon Heyman reports that the Boston Red Sox have traded starter Clay Buchhlolz to the Philadelphia Phillies. Minor league second baseman Josh Tobias will head to Boston.
Buchholz had a forgettable 2016, posting an ugly 4.78 ERA in 139.1 as a swingman. He rebounded in the second half, however, so it’s not crazy to think that the 32-year-old former ace can rebound for a full year in 2017. Buchholz will make $13.5 million after Boston picked up his option this past season. That’s a lot of money for a back-end starter, but he’ll be counted on to carry more of the load in Philly than he did in Boston.
Tobias is 24 and was a 1oth round pick out of the University of Florida in 2015. He has yet to play above A-ball. In two minor league seasons he has gotten on base at a decent clip but doesn’t seem to have any power. Then again, it’s not like the Phillies were going to give up a lot to assume a pitcher with a lot of question marks surrounding him who is making $13.5 million a 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.