MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Red Sox don't need true 'ace' at this point

In age of proactive bullpens and parity, going after starter might not be necessary

Red Sox don't need true 'ace' at this point

The absolute worst people to ask if the Red Sox need an ace are those already in Boston's rotation, biased beings that they are.

But, hey, it's good Hot Stove fodder to ask them what they think. So, in addition to general manager Ben Cherington's upbeat talk of "untapped potential" in Boston's rotation, we've seen plenty of pooh-poohing of the "Boston needs an ace" topic from members of the Clay Buchholz-Rick Porcello-Justin Masterson-Wade Miley-Joe Kelly fivesome this winter.

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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Panda wants to honor Boston Marathon shoveler

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Panda wants to honor Boston Marathon shoveler

Pablo Sandoval has been a member of the Boston Red Sox for roughly two months, but he's already helping out his fellow Beantowners.

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Five get Minors deals, spring invites from Red Sox

Five get Minors deals, spring invites from Red Sox

The Red Sox signed outfielder Quintin Berry, left-hander Dana Eveland, first baseman/outfielder Bryan LaHair, righty Felipe Paulino and catcher Humberto Quintero to Minor League contracts Thursday. All five players received invitations to big league Spring Training.

Berry previously spent part of the 2013 season in the organization and appeared in three postseason games, stealing three bases as a pinch-runner during Boston's drive to a World Series title. The 30-year-old played in 10 games for the Orioles last season, spending most of his time at Triple-A Norfolk, where he hit .285/.382/.367 with 25 steals.

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Andrew Simon is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewSimonMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Which prospects will make the Top 100 cut?

Buxton looking to defend No. 1 slot with 2015 rankings set to be unveiled

Which prospects will make the Top 100 cut?

After an offseason filled with transactions and intrigue, Spring Training is fast approaching. That means it's time for the unveiling of the latest MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list.

The annual preseason ranking of the Top 100 prospects in baseball will be revealed Friday, with the Top 50 being unveiled during a one-hour special on MLB Network and MLB.com beginning at 9 p.m. ET, and the entire list on MLB.com. The show, hosted by Greg Amsinger, will feature analysis from MLBPipeline.com Draft and prospect experts Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis, as well as MLB Network analyst Bill Ripken.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nava, Red Sox avoid arbitration with 1-year deal

Nava, Red Sox avoid arbitration with 1-year deal

The Red Sox have signed Daniel Nava to a one-year, non-guaranteed contract worth $1.85 million for the 2015 season, the team announced Thursday, avoiding arbitration.

Nava, 31, appeared in 113 games for Boston in 2014, hitting .270 with 21 doubles, four homers and 37 RBIs. He also spent 24 games at Triple-A Pawtucket.

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Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Veteran scout says Tom Brady had MLB tools

Patriots QB was drafted by the Expos in 1995 but opted to play college football

Veteran scout says Tom Brady had MLB tools

MIAMI -- A victory on Sunday would further cement Tom Brady's place among the National Football League's all-time greats. Already, the New England Patriots superstar stands alone as the only quarterback to guide his team to six Super Bowls, and he is aiming at joining legendary QBs Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only four-time winners.

As Brady continues to build on his football legacy, there are some in the baseball world who wonder what might have happened if the 37-year-old had made a different career choice.

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Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sing us a song: Joel coming back to Fenway Park

Hall of Fame musician to play ballpark show on July 16

Sing us a song: Joel coming back to Fenway Park

The Piano Man is returning to Fenway Park. Legendary musician Billy Joel will play his second concert at the Red Sox's ballpark on July 16, making him the first artist to perform at the venue two consecutive years.

"How awesome is it that as we dig out of a New England blizzard, we can turn our thoughts to The Piano Man playing again on a summer night at Fenway Park?" said Red Sox executive vice president and chief operating officer Sam Kennedy. "Thank you, Billy Joel!"

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: What will hitting coach Davis bring to Red Sox?

Beat reporter Ian Browne fields Boston fans' questions

Inbox: What will hitting coach Davis bring to Red Sox?

I'm excited about the Chili Davis hire. How do you feel his approach to the offensive side of the ball will help the Red Sox this year?
-- Steve J., Ridgewood, N.J.

Davis should do an excellent job with the Red Sox. Not only is he known for having a great work ethic, but Davis has the type of enthusiasm that is infectious for young players. Look at the success he had with some of the younger hitters he tutored with the Oakland Athletics.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox land lefty Ross from Rangers for Ranaudo

Red Sox land lefty Ross from Rangers for Ranaudo

Robbie Ross Jr. was about to begin a yoga class Tuesday afternoon when he got a career-altering phone call.

Ross and his wife had just walked into the class when his cell phone rang. He grabbed his phone to turn it off, but Ross saw the call was coming from Rangers general manager Jon Daniels. Just like that, the left-hander found out he'd been traded from Texas to Boston.

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Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Panda hits a half-court shot sitting down

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Panda hits a half-court shot sitting down

Pablo Sandoval is an accomplished professional baseball player. He is a two-time All-Star, three-time World Series champion and, this past offseason, a highly coveted free agent who ended up signing a five-year deal with the Red Sox. But that isn't enough. He wants to conquer the world of trick-shot basketball, too.

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Former Red Sox bullpen coach Bryant passes away

Former Red Sox bullpen coach Don "Bear" Bryant passed away on Jan. 22 in Gainesville, Fla. He was 73 years old.

Bryant was the bullpen coach for the Red Sox from 1974-76, which included the American League pennant-winning '75 squad. He was also a coach in the '76 All-Star Game.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Marty Noble

Gripping tale: Monbouquette left lasting memory

Gripping tale: Monbouquette left lasting memory

NEW YORK -- They were dark days for the Red Sox then, 1958-66. And oh, how I enjoyed them. I was a Yankees fan, a Mickey Mantle devotee, living just off the intersection of Tremont Avenue and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. Fifteen cents and 15 minutes could get me to Yankee Stadium and often did.

The Sox seldom had done me wrong, but Ted Williams had denied Mantle a second straight batting title in 1957, and to a 9-year-old, that was a felony. I hated Williams for that indiscretion, and my hatred for him was transferred to all things BoSox. I couldn't like Carl Yastrzemski, Pete Runnels, Frank Malzone or Dick Radatz or that kid pitcher with the long, funny name -- Monbouquette.

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Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Beloved former Boston pitcher Monbouquette dies

Massachusetts native, eight-year Sox vet passes away at 78 after battle with leukemia

Beloved former Boston pitcher Monbouquette dies

Bill Monbouquette -- a Medford, Mass., native and Red Sox legend -- died on Sunday at age 78 after a long battle with leukemia.

Monbouquette, who pitched eight seasons for the Red Sox from 1958-65, tossed a no-hitter in 1962 and won 20 games for the club in '63. He was also a three-time All-Star who spent more than 50 years in professional baseball.

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Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Napoli energized, refreshed after sleep apnea surgery

First baseman overcomes condition that prevented him from feeling rested

Napoli energized, refreshed after sleep apnea surgery

LEDYARD, Conn. -- To say Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli is energized for the coming season is far from the typical mantra you hear from just about every baseball player at this time of year. The slugger has the energy now that he lacked for close to a decade as he battled a severe case of sleep apnea.

To get to this point wasn't easy. Napoli had major surgery in November to treat his condition, and it might stun you to realize the kind of ordeal it was.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Coyle No. 5 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 2B Prospects list

Braves' Peraza heads list, followed by White Sox's Johnson, Rockies' Wall

Coyle No. 5 on MLB Pipeline's Top 10 2B Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com's 2015 Top 100 Prospects list will be unveiled on Friday on MLB.com, with the Top 50 revealed during a one-hour show on MLB Network at 9 p.m. ET. Leading up to that, MLBPipeline.com takes a look at the Top 10 prospects at each position.

Graduations to the Major Leagues have taken a heavy toll on this list in the past year. Six of the second basemen on last year's preseason Top 10, including the top four, have lost their rookie eligibility, creating room for several newcomers.

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Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pedroia 'ready to go,' sees Sox rebounding

Second baseman says he's fully recovered from wrist surgery

Pedroia 'ready to go,' sees Sox rebounding

LEDYARD, Conn. -- Dustin Pedroia no longer has any questions about his health, or any doubts about the kind of season he can have in 2015.

The second baseman was even more fired up than usual as he held court during the Red Sox's Winter Weekend at Foxwoods Resort and Casino on Saturday.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Confident Kelly likes his Cy Young chances

Feeling healthy, right-hander makes bold prediction heading into spring

Confident Kelly likes his Cy Young chances

LEDYARD, Conn. -- Red Sox right-hander Joe Kelly did something no prognosticator is likely to do in the coming weeks. He picked himself to win the American League's Cy Young Award in 2015.

While Kelly seemed to be having fun by making the bold prediction - first in a radio interview and then in a group session with reporters - he was also showing his competitive fire.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Craig feeling good, ready for action in 2015

Craig feeling good, ready for action in 2015

LEDYARD, Conn. -- Allen Craig was able to say something on Saturday that he couldn't have said with a straight face last year, or late in 2013.

"I feel good," said Craig. "I can't reiterate enough that I feel really good physically and I've had time to lift and just get ready physically and work on some things mechanically. You know, it's been good."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pumped up Panda sees snow for first time

Third baseman eager to spend time with teammates, heading to camp early

Pumped up Panda sees snow for first time

LEDYARD, Conn. -- It took Pablo Sandoval nearly three decades to see and feel snow for the first time, and that left him feeling like a kid on Christmas morning on Saturday. The discovery only added to Sandoval's excitement about joining the Red Sox.

"First time," said Sandoval, who hails from Venezuela and made his previous baseball home in San Francisco. "As a little kid, you want to play with that. At my age, 28, seeing snow for the first time is the greatest time."

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Henry open to bolstering Red Sox with in-season moves

Revamped roster may undergo more work depending on team's success

Henry open to bolstering Red Sox with in-season moves

LEDYARD, Conn. -- There's still a month or so until Spring Training begins, and therefore plenty of time for general manager Ben Cherington to make further personnel tweaks, but Red Sox principal owner John Henry is pretty happy with the state of the team's roster.

From the starting pitcher trio of Rick Porcello, Wade Miley and Justin Masterson to the big bats like Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez, Henry is pleased with what Cherington & Co. have done to prepare a rebound from 2014's disappointing season.

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Tim Healey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox owner supports Major League pitch clock

Henry part of committee discussing pace of game

Red Sox owner supports Major League pitch clock

LEDYARD, Conn. -- A pitch clock could be coming to the Major Leagues -- eventually, as far as Red Sox principal owner John Henry can tell.

One of the results of Major League Baseball's pace of game committee -- which was formed in September and included Sox chairman Tom Werner and partner Michael Gordon -- is the implementation of a pitch clock in Triple-A and Double-A games during the 2015 season.

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Tim Healey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Henry backs Boston's 2024 Olympics bid

Red Sox owner unaffiliated with official campaign, open to making Fenway Park available for Games

Henry backs Boston's 2024 Olympics bid

LEDYARD, Conn. -- Count Red Sox principal owner John Henry among the prominent Bostonians in favor of bringing the 2024 Olympics to the Hub.

Henry, speaking at Foxwoods as the club kicked off its "Winter Weekend," said he isn't formally involved with the "Boston 2024" campaign, but he supports what the organization is trying to do.

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Tim Healey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cherington: Content with rotation, no plans to add ace

Noting pricey free-agent market, GM says Sox's starters have 'untapped potential'

Cherington: Content with rotation, no plans to add ace

BOSTON -- Though James Shields remains a free agent and Cole Hamels still hasn't been traded by the Phillies, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington isn't expecting to make a marquee pitching acquisition before Spring Training.

The Red Sox made their bid for Jon Lester (six years, $135 million), and once that fell short, they deepened the rotation by adding Rick Porcello, Wade Miley and Justin Masterson. They'll likely join Clay Buchholz and Joe Kelly.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pedro honored with prestigious Fuchs Award

Former Red Sox great, Hall of Fame inductee thanks teammates, fans

Pedro honored with prestigious Fuchs Award

BOSTON -- Just hours after it was revealed that Pedro Martinez will go into the Hall of Fame with a Red Sox logo on his plaque, the icon stood in front of his fans to receive another honor.

Martinez received the Judge Emil Fuchs Award for his long and meritorious service to the game at Thursday night's Boston Baseball Writers Dinner.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Hal Bodley

Red Sox set for another worst-to-first rebound

Coming off tough 2014 season, Boston built to contend for AL East in '15

Red Sox set for another worst-to-first rebound

Start with this: When it comes to defending a World Series championship, the 2014 Red Sox were one of the worst in baseball history.

In 2012, the cloud over Red Sox Nation was as dark as it gets. Boston was dreadful, finishing dead last in the tough American League East. But from the depths of despair and 93 losses, the Red Sox picked up the pieces, rebuilt the team and roared to the top of the division and polished off the stunned Cardinals in the 2013 World Series.

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Hal Bodley is the senior correspondent for MLB.com. Follow him @halbodley on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Victorino is texting manager photos of his abs

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Victorino is texting manager photos of his abs

The offseason makes everyone a little crazy. The players are hungry to start playing again, the managers are making lineup cards out of to-do lists and fans are scrounging around under the couch looking for any taste of baseball they can find.

Shane Victorino is dealing with his cabin fever a little differently. Namely, he's texting his manager, John Farrell, photos of his abs. Which hey, if you've got 'em, show 'em off. 

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Betts happy to stay with Red Sox

Outfielder honored as club's Minor League Player of the Year

Betts happy to stay with Red Sox

BOSTON -- If the Red Sox had dealt for a front-line pitcher this winter, they might have had to trade the five-tool talent of Mookie Betts.

But the outfielder stayed put, and he was in Boston on Thursday night to collect an award -- the Minor League Player of the Year for the Red Sox in 2014.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pedro, Biggio, Smoltz select Hall of Fame caps

Martinez's plaque will feature a Red Sox logo; other two pick longtime clubs

Pedro, Biggio, Smoltz select Hall of Fame caps

The Hall of Fame has announced the cap selections for the plaques of recent electees Craig Biggio, Pedro Martinez and John Smoltz, with all three players choosing the teams they spent the most time with during their careers.

Biggio, who played his entire 20-year career in Houston, will wear the Astros cap; Martinez, who spent seven of his 18 seasons in Boston, will wear a Red Sox cap; and Smoltz, who spent 20 of his 21 years in Atlanta, will don a Braves hat.

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Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cherington: Motivated Victorino 'a very good thing'

GM says potential logjam in outfield gives Red Sox more possibilities

Cherington: Motivated Victorino 'a very good thing'

BOSTON -- If a healthy Shane Victorino causes a logjam in the outfield, the Red Sox would be all for it. The right fielder, who played an instrumental role in the World Series championship of 2013, is on the mend following back surgery, and he is expected to be a full-go for Spring Training.

"I think a motivated Shane Victorino out to prove something is a very good thing, for him and the Red Sox," general manager Ben Cherington said prior to Thursday's Boston Baseball Writers Dinner. "So I'm just excited to see him. I think we'll see him later this week. We know what kind of player he is if he's healthy and on the field. He's certainly done all he needs to do this offseason.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.