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Diamondbacks sign Rubby De La Rosa to a minor league deal

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have inked pitcher Rubby De La Rosa to a minor league contract. If he makes the major league team out of spring training, he’ll earn $750,000 with an additional $2.75 million available in incentives.

De La Rosa, 27, joined the Diamondbacks in December 2014 from the Red Sox in the Wade Miley trade. The Diamondbacks non-tendered De La Rosa last month.

In his two seasons with the D-Backs, De La Rosa compiled a 4.59 ERA with a 204/83 K/BB ratio in 239 1/3 innings. He was limited to 50 2/3 innings in 2016 due to elbow issues. The D-Backs plan to transition him to a bullpen role in an attempt to keep him healthier.

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.