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Report: Chris Carter might leave North America to play baseball

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Free agent slugger Chris Carter, who led the National League with 41 home runs last season, could take his services overseas according to his agent (and former Diamondbacks GM) Dave Stewart, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. “I think at some point we have to make it a serious consideration. It’s getting late there, too. Those teams are filling their spaces, too,” Stewart said.

Along with the 41 dingers, Carter knocked in 94 runs and hit .222/.321/.499 over 644 plate appearances. The negatives are obvious: Carter strikes out a lot, having led the league with 206 punch-outs in 2016. He also doesn’t play a premium position, nor does he play even adequate defense when he is on the field, limiting him ideally to a DH role. As a result, Carter was only with 0.9 Wins Above Replacement last season according to Baseball Reference, despite the prodigious power.

According to Stewart, Japanese teams showed interest in Carter last year before he signed a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Brewers. The Brewers chose to non-tender Carter in early December rather than pay him a projected $8 million for the 2017 season.

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.