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Report: Royals to sign Travis Wood to a two-year contract

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Update (6:08 PM EST): The two-year contract is for a total of $12 million, Heyman reports.

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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Royals are expected to sign pitcher Travis Wood. It will be a two-year deal, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.

Wood, 30, pitched out of the Cubs’ bullpen last season, posting a 2.95 ERA and a 47/24 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. Right-handed hitters hit him pretty hard, compiling an .865 OPS, but Wood held lefties to a .447 OPS.

Wood is expected to compete for a spot at the back of the Royals’ starting rotation, Crasnick notes.

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.