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Yankees and Dellin Betances still $2 million apart in arbitration

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The Yankees have yet to agree to terms with right-handed reliever Dellin Betances, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The two are reportedly $2 million apart from agreeing on a sum; Betances filed for $5 million, while the Yankees offered $3 million.

Despite some late-season bumps in the road, Betances finished 2016 with a 3.08 ERA and 1.78 FIP through 73 innings, leading all major-league relievers in strikeouts (126) for the third consecutive season. This is the first year in which the 28-year-old has been eligible for arbitration after earning a league-minimum salary last season.

According to the reported totals from MLB Trade Rumors, approximately 36 major leaguers have yet to reconcile salary figures for 2017. Of the seven Yankees who are arbitration-eligible this year, Betances is the only player who has not settled with the club. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement in the next few weeks, an arbitration hearing will take place in February, though MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch points out that the Yankees have not gone through proceedings with a player since 2008.

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.