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Red Sox, Drew Pomeranz settle at $4.45 million

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The Red Sox and pitcher Drew Pomeranz have settled before heading to an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a $4.45 million salary for the 2017 season, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. Pomeranz had requested $5.7 million and the Red Sox countered at $3.6 million, so he comes out a little bit under the $4.65 million midpoint. He was in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility.

Pomeranz, 28, started the 2016 season strong, putting up a 2.47 ERA in 17 starts with the Padres before being traded to the Red Sox. In Boston, he struggled, finishing with a 4.59 ERA and a 71/24 K/BB ratio in 68 2/3 innings spanning 13 starts and one relief appearance. The lefty battled some forearm discomfort during the end of the regular season and in the postseason, receiving a stem cell injection in his left elbow in October. Pomeranz is expected to be fully ready for spring training.

Pomeranz will likely pitch out of the back of the starting rotation when the regular season opens.

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.