Castillo, Craig hoping to get back on radar this spring

Castillo, Craig hoping to get back on radar this spring

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In different ways, they were both prominent in the not-too-distant past.

On Saturday morning, they went about their Spring Training work together in relative anonymity on Field 5 with the other non-roster position players at Red Sox camp.

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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 add organizational starting depth with Velazquez

Sox add organizational starting depth with Velazquez

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox added some organizational depth by purchasing the contract of right-hander Hector Velazquez from the Mexican League. The deal is pending a physical. Assuming Velazquez passes the physical, he will receive an invitation to Major League camp.

The 28-year-old Velazquez most recently pitched in Mayos de Navojoa in the Mexican Pacific Winter League, going 9-3 with a 2.32 ERA in 14 starts.

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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 open camp ready to address 'unfinished business'

After ALDS exit in '16, club has sights set on deep October run

Sox open camp ready to address 'unfinished business'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- About 90 minutes before the Red Sox bounded out to the fields of Fenway South as a full squad for the first time, they took some time to acknowledge and embrace the high expectations that will follow the club around all season.

Manager John Farrell led the annual staff and player meeting, which also included some words of encouragement from chairman Tom Werner and president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski.

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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.

Swihart working out kinks in move back to catcher

Red Sox backstop, competing for roster spot, trying to shorten up throws

Swihart working out kinks in move back to catcher

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Blake Swihart, who is back behind the plate after moving to left field last season, is having some trouble with his throwing mechanics in the early days of Red Sox Spring Training.

During Friday's first full-squad workout, Swihart airmailed Rick Porcello while throwing back to the mound during a side session, and he appeared to be hesitating or double-clutching at other times.

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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.

Werner hopes Papi makes Spring Training appearance

Ortiz, ownership in process of defining slugger's future role with Red Sox

Werner hopes Papi makes Spring Training appearance

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- While the Red Sox continue to iron out the details on David Ortiz's future role, chairman Tom Werner expressed hope that the retired slugger will appear at some point during Spring Training to speak to the team.

Considering the large shadow that Big Papi casts, it isn't a surprise that he hasn't been around during the early stages of camp. The 2017 Red Sox need to establish an identity without their long-time DH.

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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.

Werner, Henry want to own Sox for many more years

Werner, Henry want to own Sox for many more years

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Later this month, Red Sox owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner will celebrate the 15th anniversary of their purchase of the team.

It has been a memorable run that has included three World Series championships, and neither owner seems inclined to step away any time soon.

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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.

Sandoval: 'I have to prove everything'

Following strict offseason training regimen, third baseman needs to earn back position

Sandoval: 'I have to prove everything'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who spent much of his offseason on a ramped-up training regimen that included boxing, could probably say he is now at his fighting weight.

Though Thursday marked Sandoval's official arrival at camp, he spent much of his winter training in relative solitude at the Fenway South facility.

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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.

Hanley on Papi's legacy: 'Keep that rolling'

Ramirez drawing inspiration from close friend Ortiz as he takes over at DH

Hanley on Papi's legacy: 'Keep that rolling'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Hanley Ramirez arrived at Spring Training on Thursday sporting a tribute to one of his best friends.

The veteran wore a T-shirt that said "Big Papi's walkoffs" -- only this time, David Ortiz truly did walk off. And as painful as it is for Ramirez to say, he advises everyone not to expect a comeback from the legendary slugger who retired at the end of 2016.

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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.

Pomeranz confident on winning rotation spot

Left-hander will compete with Rodriguez, Wright for final two spots

Pomeranz confident on winning rotation spot

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- There is a spot to win in the starting rotation, and Drew Pomeranz doesn't even want to consider the alternative.

Bullpen? Been there, done 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.

Young Sox vet Bogaerts has wisdom to share

Young Sox vet Bogaerts has wisdom to share

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The 24-year-old veteran. Isn't that an oxymoron for a baseball player?

Perhaps. But that is the unique classification Xander Bogaerts finds himself in as he enters his fifth -- yes, fifth -- season for the Red Sox.

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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.

Kimbrel hoping to make mechanical tweak

Kimbrel hoping to make mechanical tweak

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel is probably just a mechanical tweak or two away from regaining the dominance he has displayed for nearly his entire career.

Even though Kimbrel was an All-Star in 2016, his first season with the Red Sox, he acknowledges he wasn't at his best, logging a career-worst ERA of 3.40. His velocity -- Kimbrel's four-seamer came in at an average of 97.8 mph last year, per Statcast™ -- suggests his arm is perfectly sound. In 53 innings, Kimbrel piled up 83 strikeouts.

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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 righty Smith aimed toward May or June return

Sox righty Smith aimed toward May or June return

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The simple act of throwing a baseball was weird for Carson Smith the first time he tried it after Tommy John surgery.

"It was awkward," said Smith. "I think I had three guys standing back there, trying to hit one of them in the chest. It was tough."

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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.

Say it again, Sale: Ace is in Boston to win

Red Sox's big offseason acquisition has never made the postseason

Say it again, Sale: Ace is in Boston to win

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For new Red Sox ace Chris Sale, the best part about arriving to work every day are the banners.

They are not merely reminders of the recent success by a tradition-laden franchise, but also the left-hander's strongest motivator.

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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.

Farrell expects trio of SPs to be ready for opener

Rodriguez, Pomeranz and Wright are all recovering from injuries

Farrell expects trio of SPs to be ready for opener

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Though starting pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez, Drew Pomeranz and Steven Wright aren't a full-go just yet, Red Sox manager John Farrell thinks they will all be ready for the start of the season.

The progress of that trio bears watching, given they are the three pitchers battling for the final two spots in the rotation.

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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.

Pedroia leads Sox into post-Big Papi era

Veteran 2B in camp three days early, raring to go

Pedroia leads Sox into post-Big Papi era

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In this brave new world the Red Sox are entering without David Ortiz, they are fortunate to have Dustin Pedroia to lead them.

There is a big size difference in the longest-tenured Red Sox player now that Big Papi is retired, but nobody is as equipped to fill those shoes as Pedroia.

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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.

Benintendi briefly worried he'd go in Sale deal

Dombrowski says Red Sox never considered trading MLB's top prospect

Benintendi briefly worried he'd go in Sale deal

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Andrew Benintendi was eating lunch with a former college teammate at a restaurant in St. Louis when the news went viral.

Chris Sale was about to become a member of the Red Sox. For a brief couple of minutes, Benintendi wondered if he was part of the compensation that convinced the White Sox to part with a five-time All-Star.

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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.

Dombrowski believes Sox can live up to hype

President of baseball operations says biggest concern is club's health

Dombrowski believes Sox can live up to hype

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox opened camp on Monday to great expectations, thanks in large part to a certain blockbuster you might have heard about, engineered by Dave Dombrowski back in December.

But living up to the hype is nothing new for Boston's president of baseball operations, who has made a collection of marquee acquisitions during his career.

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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 diagnosed with reocurrence of lung cancer

Red Sox TV analyst had surgery to remove growth, expects to work regular schedule

Remy diagnosed with reocurrence of lung cancer

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Popular NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy revealed Monday that he is battling lung cancer for the fourth time, but is optimistic about his prognosis and expects to work his regular schedule of games this season.

Remy had surgery to remove the cancerous growth from his right lung last week and hopes he will be given clearance to fly to Spring Training after a follow-up exam March 1.

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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.

Farrell: Panda must earn starting 3B job

Red Sox's Wright building back up after bout with shoulder bursitis

Farrell: Panda must earn starting 3B job

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- On the eve of the official opening of Spring Training, Red Sox manager John Farrell spoke Sunday of the competitions that are to ensue. And there might be no more prominent storyline than Pablo Sandoval's quest to win back his job at third base.

With Yoan Moncada and Travis Shaw gone, it has been widely speculated that Sandoval will be in the starting lineup at Fenway Park when the Red Sox open their season April 3 against the Pirates.

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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.

Redemption motivating Sox on eve of camp

New faces, roster battles and prospects drive Spring Training narratives

Redemption motivating Sox on eve of camp

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Red Sox squad each day this week. Today's topic: Spring Training is here.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For many Red Sox players, it has been a long offseason waiting for the chance at redemption following a too-short October run. For others, it's been a whirlwind after getting traded (Chris Sale, Tyler Thornburg), signed (Mitch Moreland) or married (David Price).

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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.

Rotation, 'pen among Sox's camp competitions

Leon, Vazquez and Swihart vie for two catching spots

Rotation, 'pen among Sox's camp competitions

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com takes a look at a different aspect of this year's Red Sox squad each day this week. Today's topic: Predicting the 25-man roster.

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The jockeying for position(s) will soon begin under the soothing sun of Spring Training.

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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.

Fans get first look at Red Sox's trio of aces

Porcello excited about rotation's potential, pushing each other to succeed

Fans get first look at Red Sox's trio of aces

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The big three that has been talked about for weeks turned into a visual image Friday at the Fenway South complex, and it was one to behold for a Red Sox fan.

Side by side by side as they threw their side sessions were Chris Sale, Rick Porcello and David Price.

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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.

Backed by aces, Sox eye World Series parade

Backed by aces, Sox eye World Series parade

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Red Sox squad each day this week. Today's topic: The perfect season.

BOSTON -- The thrill of being a contender again was thrilling for the Red Sox and their fans last season, but the standards are now higher for what could well be a memorable 2017.

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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.

Slimmed-down Panda, Sale arrive at Sox camp

Slimmed-down Panda, Sale arrive at Sox camp

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- While many of their fans dug out of a blizzard 1,200 miles to the north, the Red Sox were out in full force five days ahead of the first official workout for pitchers and catchers.

There were more than 25 players on hand for an early-bird workout at the Fenway South facilities, including a notably slimmed-down Pablo Sandoval and newly-acquired lefty ace Chris Sale.

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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

Fred Zinkie

Tale of the fantasy tape: Yanks vs. Red Sox

Which American League East rival has superior fantasy assets?

Tale of the fantasy tape: Yanks vs. Red Sox

Few rivalries in baseball -- or any other sport, for that matter -- can match the history and intensity of the one between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. Before these storied franchises settle their 2017 competition on the field, we can get a head start on assessing them by comparing the fantasy value of their key players for the upcoming campaign.

Will David Ortiz's retirement swing this rivalry in favor of the Yankees? Find out below.

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Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox primed to be top contender in 2017

Red Sox primed to be top contender in 2017

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Red Sox squad each day this week. Today's topic: What's the vision?

BOSTON -- The Red Sox have a loaded roster on paper heading into 2017, thanks to a collaboration of current president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and the leaders of the past two regimes (Theo Epstein and Ben Cherington).

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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.

Nats, Red Sox to play at U.S. Naval Academy

Nats, Red Sox to play at U.S. Naval Academy

Major League Baseball's long tradition of honoring America's military heroes will continue this spring when the Nationals and Red Sox compete in a preseason exhibition game April 1 at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.

The game, which will be open exclusively to Naval Academy midshipmen and members of the U.S. Navy, will be televised nationally on ESPN. The Nationals will host one exhibition game at the Naval Academy each year through 2019 as part of a new 3-year agreement.

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

Bogaerts, Hanley representing Sox in Classic

Bogaerts, Hanley representing Sox in Classic

The Red Sox will have two cornerstone players representing their countries at the upcoming World Baseball Classic -- shortstop Xander Bogaerts (Netherlands) and designated hitter/first baseman Hanley Ramirez (Dominican Republic).

After months of speculation on which players would participate in the international showcase event, rosters were formally announced on MLB Network on Wednesday night.

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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 becomes leader of Red Sox offense

With Big Papi retired, star outfielder is biggest threat

Betts becomes leader of Red Sox offense

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Red Sox squad each day this week. Today's topic: How's your star?

BOSTON -- No longer sharing the spotlight with a legend, Mookie Betts will be the focal point of the Red Sox's lineup going forward. Not only that, but he will dominate the opposition's pre-series scouting meetings.

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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.

Can Swihart reclaim spot as top Sox backstop?

Can Swihart reclaim spot as top Sox backstop?

With Spring Training fast approaching, MLB.com will take a look at a different aspect of this year's Red Sox squad each day this week. Today's topic: Who might surprise?

BOSTON -- The transformation from top prospect to under the radar in the span of a couple of years isn't ideal, but Blake Swihart doesn't mind having to re-establish himself.

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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.