Sale steals show at Red Sox Winter Weekend

Sale steals show at Red Sox Winter Weekend

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- Wearing a Red Sox jersey for the first time and making his first public appearance on behalf of his new team, Chris Sale was greeted by a room full of roars from the roughly 2,500 fans gathered in the Grand Theater of Foxwoods Resort and Casino.

The event was the kickoff of the third annual Red Sox Winter Weekend, and Sale was the last player introduced on Friday, setting off a standing ovation.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox owners like what the future holds

Red Sox owners like what the future holds

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- If you looked at a bar graph illustrating the success of the Red Sox over the last five seasons, you'd see a line that sways wildly from the bottom to the top and back again.

Red Sox owners John Henry and Tom Werner are both confident that the club's recently topsy-turvy ways are going to give way to perennial success.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Betts named Red Sox MVP, strives to improve

Outfielder unfazed by increased expectations

Betts named Red Sox MVP, strives to improve

BOSTON -- After an emphatic breakout season in which he finished second to Mike Trout in the race for the American League's Most Valuable Player, Mookie Betts could be under a microscope in 2017.

And this is where his low-key, hard-working demeanor serves him best.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tito, Theo receive warm welcome in return to Boston

Former Sox manager and GM appear at writers awards dinner

Tito, Theo receive warm welcome in return to Boston

BOSTON -- For Terry Francona and Theo Epstein, Thursday was a night of recognition and reminiscing, but also a happy homecoming.

They were at the Boston Baseball Writers Awards Dinner on behalf of the Indians and Cubs, the two teams who staged an epic World Series less than three months ago.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tiant honored to receive Emil Fuchs Award

Tiant honored to receive Emil Fuchs Award

BOSTON -- Former Red Sox great Luis Tiant was thrilled to receive the prestigious Emil Fuchs Award at Thursday night's Boston Baseball Writers Dinner, given annually to someone who exhibits long and meritorious service to the game.

"It's nice, it's a good thing," said Tiant. "At least people still remember me and remember what I did all those years. I know what I've had to do with my life and I'm lucky. I'm lucky I played all those years. God gave me the opportunity to play. What more can you ask? You can't ask for more than that."

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

E-Rod out for Classic after minor knee injury

E-Rod out for Classic after minor knee injury

BOSTON -- Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez won't pitch for Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic due to a minor right knee injury he sustained in winter ball last month.

"Given what transpired in his last start in Venezuela, we'd like to hold him out," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We need to determine that physically, there are no issues or questions about his knee."

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Travis makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 1B Prospects list

Dodgers' Bellinger ranks first, Pirates' Bell, Mets' Smith follow once again

Travis makes MLB Pipeline's Top 10 1B Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

No position in the big leagues places a greater premium on power than first base, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that MLBPipeline's list of the Top 10 first-base prospects is loaded with sluggers. Four of them have plus pop, led by Cody Bellinger's 65 grade on the 20-80 scouting scale, and the rest all have average or better power. Meanwhile, the top four first basemen all ranked among the top six a year ago, while Bellinger and Casey Gillaspie leaped into the top half of the list.

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

Schilling sees slight dip in Hall of Fame votes

Right-hander listed on 45 percent of ballots in fifth year

Schilling sees slight dip in Hall of Fame votes

Curt Schilling, a big-game righty who had dominant stints for the Phillies, D-backs and Red Sox, saw his Hall of Fame support dip slightly in his fifth year on the ballot.

With 199 votes, Schilling was listed on 45 percent of the ballots by eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America. A player needs 75 percent of the votes to become a Hall of Famer. Schilling finished with the 10th-most votes on this year's ballot.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Clemens gains Hall of Fame support

Clemens gains Hall of Fame support

BOSTON -- Of the several Hall of Fame candidates who played for the Red Sox, Roger Clemens received the most support in this year's vote. The Rocket was listed on 54.1 percent of the ballots, with 239 votes.

This was easily the best showing for Clemens of the five years he's been on the ballot, and a sign that he is gaining momentum to join baseball's most prestigious club someday.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Castillo, Craig joining Red Sox's spring camp

Prospects Devers, Travis also among non-roster invitees

Castillo, Craig joining Red Sox's spring camp

BOSTON -- The Red Sox have added nine non-roster invitees to the Spring Training roster, including outfielders Rusney Castillo and Allen Craig, and highly touted prospects Rafael Devers and Sam Travis.

This will be the first Major League Spring Training for Devers, a 20-year-old third baseman ranked second among Red Sox prospects by MLB Pipeline.com. A left-handed hitter with raw power, Devers has the Red Sox excited about his potential. Travis, a first baseman, is ranked as the club's No. 4 prospect.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Remy signs multiyear deal to remain in NESN booth

Red Sox color analyst Jerry Remy has agreed to a multiyear contract to continue in that role for NESN, the club's television home.

Remy, 64, will be entering his 30th year as NESN color analyst for Red Sox games, and he will be part of the network's broadcast team for 115 games each season.

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

Fenway to host BC's ALS Awareness Game

Fenway to host BC's ALS Awareness Game

The Boston College baseball team will play its sixth annual ALS Awareness Game at Fenway Park on April 22, the Red Sox announced Wednesday.

The annual game, which features an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup with North Carolina State University this season, is played in honor of former Eagles captain Pete Frates, who was diagnosed with ALS in March 2012.

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

Prospect Martin embracing chance to develop

Righty comfortable with arm-slot adjustment, looks forward to learning more at Spring Training

Prospect Martin embracing chance to develop

BOSTON -- Through much of his time at Texas A&M, Kyle Martin couldn't make up his mind when it came to his delivery. He would go sidearm. Then he'd go over the top. Then he'd switch it up again. Part of the indecisiveness had to do with moving back and forth between starting and relief.

Once the Red Sox selected Martin in the ninth round of the 2013 Draft, the waffling stopped.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Groome No. 2 on Pipeline's Top 10 LHP Prospects list

Hader leaps from No. 6 to top of list, Groome slides into No. 2 spot

Groome No. 2 on Pipeline's Top 10 LHP Prospects list

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Exactly half of last year's Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects list graduated off of prospect lists during the 2016 season. The top three -- Julio Urias, Blake Snell and Steven Matz -- all had large impacts, with Urias even pitching in the postseason. Four of the other five are still on the list, including new No. 1 Josh Hader.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox prospects work with students to paint school mural

Sox prospects work with students to paint school mural

BOSTON -- For the Red Sox, Monday's opening of the annual Rookie Development Program included an event that befitted Martin Luther King Day, as players took part in community service.

The venue was Higginson-Lewis K-8 School in Roxbury, Mass., where some of the organization's top prospects worked with Red Sox scholars to paint the cafeteria and murals (the color was Green Monster green) in the halls.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sox avoid arb with Bradley, Bogaerts, 5 others

Sox avoid arb with Bradley, Bogaerts, 5 others

BOSTON -- The Red Sox avoided arbitration by reaching one-year agreements with seven players on Friday, including two All-Stars from last season -- shortstop Xander Bogaerts ($4.5 million, according to a source) and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. ($3.6 million).

The others who avoided arbitration with one-year deals: infielder/outfielder Brock Holt ($1.95 million), catcher Sandy Leon ($1.3 million), righty setup man Joe Kelly ($2.8 million), righty setup man Tyler Thornburg ($2.05 million) and lefty setup man Robbie Ross Jr. ($1.825 million). The club hasn't commented on the salary figures.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Baby B's to anchor outfield

Mainstays Betts, Bradley to be joined by rookie left fielder Benintendi

Around the Horn: Baby B's to anchor outfield

With the start of Spring Training just a few weeks away, anticipation is building for the 2017 season. MLB.com is going around the horn to break down each area of the Red Sox, continuing with the outfield.

Red Sox fans from 40 years ago still flash back to the grace, power, productivity and athleticism of the special trio of Hall of Famer Jim Rice, Fred Lynn and Dwight Evans that roamed the outfield.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fenway to host 3 college football games in 2017

Fenway to host 3 college football games in 2017

College football returns to Fenway Park in November with three games featuring Division I programs from New England.

The University of Connecticut will host Boston College on Nov. 18, Brown University will host Dartmouth College on Nov. 10 and the University of Massachusetts will host the University of Maine on Nov. 11.

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Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Double-play duo a Sox strength

Pedroia-Bogaerts tandem gives Boston certainty in middle infield

Around the Horn: Double-play duo a Sox strength

With the start of Spring Training just a few weeks away, anticipation is building for the 2017 season. MLB.com is going around the horn to break down each area of the Red Sox, continuing with the middle infield.

Production on offense. Steadiness on defense. Intelligence and aggression on the bases. Season-to-season stability.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Little change in Red Sox's Minors staff

Little change in Red Sox's Minors staff

The Red Sox announced their 2017 Minor League coaching staffs on Wednesday, returning most of their members from last season.

At Triple-A Pawtucket, Kevin Boles will manage his fourth season. Pitching coach Bob Kipper and hitting coach Rick Gedman will also return, and Bruce Crabbe will continue as an additional coach.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jon Paul Morosi

Should the DR pursue Big Papi for WBC '17?

Should the DR pursue Big Papi for WBC '17?

The first World Baseball Classic was supposed to be the last act of Roger Clemens' career.

Clemens said he would retire after leading the Astros to the 2005 World Series, but he wanted to represent the United States in the inaugural WBC. And he did, only to lose an elimination game to Mexico, reverse his decision and play parts of two more seasons in the Major Leagues.

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Jon Paul Morosi is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Carter would give Red Sox true slugger they need

Carter would give Red Sox true slugger they need

BOSTON -- As presently constituted, the Red Sox have a balanced roster that looks good enough to win the American League East. President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski has noted a few times that he doesn't feel a "driving force" to make any more acquisitions. But that doesn't necessarily mean he won't.

If you look at the Red Sox, perhaps the biggest thing they lack is a true slugger.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Despite the frigid temperatures throughout many big league cities, Major League Baseball's announcement Tuesday of the first workout dates of Spring Training should be enough to warm the hearts of baseball fans everywhere.

The following are the first Spring Training workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League clubs. 

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Big Papi's mysterious tweet causes stir

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Big Papi's mysterious tweet causes stir

Even though he officially retired at the end of last season (one of the greatest final seasons ever), David Ortiz has made subtle hints that's he's interested in a return to baseball. Whether that's through Instagram posts or annihilating tennis balls with his sweet home run stroke.

And then, on Monday, Big Papi sent this very obscure tweet into the Twitter abyss ...

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Inbox: Will Kimbrel return to dominance?

Beat reporter Ian Browne answers Red Sox fans' questions

Inbox: Will Kimbrel return to dominance?

Craig Kimbrel obviously had a down year last season. Entering his age-29 season, it would seem he can still bounce back to the elite level he was at in Atlanta. How do you think will he perform?
-- Haruka H., Japan

There's absolutely no reason Kimbrel can't bounce back and be more consistent in 2017. I think the past two years have been a little topsy-turvy for him, getting traded twice. Now, he's settled with Boston and knows he will be there for at least the next two seasons. Kimbrel, to me, is a creature of habit who likes to be comfortable in his surroundings. Look for him to have a monster year.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Manny Ramirez signs with independent Japanese team

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Manny Ramirez signs with independent Japanese team

Sure, Manny Ramirez appeared on his first Baseball Hall of Fame ballot this year, but he still has plenty of Being Manny left to give. There are so many dingers that need to be hit, so many throws to be inexplicably cut off. And so, weeks after reports first surfaced that he was considering a comeback, we're pleased to report that it's official: Manny's back.

Ramirez has reached an agreement with the Kochi Fighting Dogs, an independent team in Japan. The team confirmed the news on its website, and we received some delightful photographic evidence thanks to his wife's Instagram.

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Around the Horn: Steady production key at infield corners

Moreland, Sandoval putting in offseason work to maximize reliability in 2017

Around the Horn: Steady production key at infield corners

With the start of Spring Training just a few weeks away, anticipation is building for the 2017 season. MLB.com is going around the horn to break down each area of the Red Sox, continuing with the corner infield.

At the two corner infield spots, the Red Sox have one new face and one rebuilt body. The hope is that first baseman Mitch Moreland and third baseman Pablo Sandoval can provide steady production on both sides of the plate.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Betts headlines Boston Writers Dinner attendees

Bogaerts, Bradley, Epstein and Francona also among those expected to be at event

Betts headlines Boston Writers Dinner attendees

BOSTON -- If you'd like an up-close look at some key Red Sox players before Spring Training, the 78th annual Boston Baseball Writers Dinner on Jan. 19 presents the perfect opportunity.

Along with the departure of the equipment truck from Fenway Park on Feb. 6, the dinner is an annual sign for Red Sox fans that baseball season is getting close.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Around the Horn: Who'll catch on in Boston?

Trio of backstops will be competing for top spot on depth chart

Around the Horn: Who'll catch on in Boston?

With the start of Spring Training just a few weeks away, anticipation is building for the 2017 season. MLB.com will go around the horn to break down each area of the Red Sox, starting with the catching position.

To find the most intriguing position with the Red Sox, it's best to keep your eyes focused behind the plate.

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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.