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Cardinals, Matt Adams avoid arbitration

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The Cardinals and first baseman Matt Adams have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $2.8 million salary for the 2017 season, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports.

Adams, 28, was entering his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. The slugger was limited to 327 plate appearances during this past season due to back, shoulder, and wrist injuries. Heading into a new season, however, Adams has reportedly lost 25 pounds.

With Matt Carpenter shifting over to first base, Adams is currently looking at a backup role with the Cardinals. It would not be surprising to see the club pursue trading him before the regular season begins.

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.