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Cubs avoid arbitration with Pedro Strop

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The Cubs avoided arbitration with right-handed reliever Pedro Strop on Saturday, per MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat. He’ll get $5.5 million for the 2017 season, a raise of approximately $1.1 million over his salary in 2016. Strop filed at $6 million at the January deadline and was met with a $4.6 million counteroffer from the club.

The 31-year-old righty completed his fourth run with the Cubs in 2016, turning in an outstanding 2.85 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 11.4 SO/9 over 47 1/3 innings. He missed significant time on the disabled list due to a torn meniscus and groin strain, putting up just 0.8 fWAR and finishing the season with fewer than 57 innings for the first time since 2011. He regained full strength prior to the Cubs’ postseason stretch, logging a 3.18 ERA and two holds in 11 1/3 innings as the team worked their way up to another championship title.

The right-hander is scheduled to enter free agency in the fall of 2017. The Cubs have now settled with all four arbitration-eligible players, including right-handers Jake Arrieta, Justin Grimm and Hector Rondon.

Brian Dozier, Todd Frazier, and Didi Gregorius say teams should expand protective netting

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Earlier, a young fan was struck by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium and had to be carried out before being taken to a hospital. Fortunately, it seems that the fan is okay.

As usual, when a scary incident such as today’s occurs, players come out in full support of expanding the protective netting at ballparks. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier as well as Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier and shortstop Didi Gregorius all said as much after Wednesday afternoon’s game.

Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis has also been a very vocal proponent of increased netting. For the most part, the players are pretty much all in agreement about the subject. It’s only a vocal minority of fans who seem to think that their ability to snag a random souvenir or have an unimpeded view supersedes the safety of their neighbors.

Video: Giancarlo Stanton hits a laser for his 56th home run

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Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton continued his march towards 60 home runs, hitting No. 56 in Wednesday afternoon’s win against the Mets. The Marlins, leading 7-2 prior to Stanton’s two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth, didn’t need the extra run support but welcomed it all the same. Mets reliever Erik Goeddel tossed a 1-1, 78 MPH curve that caught too much of the plate.

After Wednesday’s action, Stanton is batting .279/.378/.634 with 120 RBI and 116 runs scored along with the 56 dingers in 646 plate appearances. The last player to hit at least 56 home runs in a season was Ryan Howard (58) in 2006. Stanton’s is the 19th player-season of at least 56 homers.