'Excited' Sale eager to win ring with Red Sox

Lefty ready to pitch in front of Fenway faithful, likes proximity of camp to home

'Excited' Sale eager to win ring with Red Sox

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The newest Red Sox pitching star won't worry about being called "ace" on a staff that already includes reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello and five-time All-Star and 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner David Price.

Instead, Chris Sale is ecstatic to join forces with his new team and put everything he has into trying to win a World Series for the first time in 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.

Sox don't expect Papi back despite Instagram post

Sox don't expect Papi back despite Instagram post

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Though David Ortiz playfully hinted on Instagram Tuesday night that Boston's acquisition of Chris Sale could change his mind about retirement, the Red Sox don't expect Big Papi to come back.

And even if Ortiz did have a stunning reversal of plans, he wouldn't be permitted to play until June.

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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 getting calls on starting pitchers

Sale addition means club could make deal, but Dombrowski not in a rush

Red Sox getting calls on starting pitchers

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- A day after securing the stud pitcher on the trade market in Chris Sale, Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski found a common theme in the phone calls he was receiving from other teams.

"We have had a lot of phone calls on our pitchers today, and different ones," said Dombrowski. "But we're just kind of sitting back at this point and kind of collecting thought processes. But I can't say we're aggressively looking to do something. We're really more digesting what's taking place. I think if we wanted to aggressively make a deal, we could definitely do 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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Red Sox trade 'best farm' title for pennant pole position

Latest Dombroski deal sends MLB's No. 1 prospect, more young talent to Chicago to land Sale

Red Sox trade 'best farm' title for pennant pole position

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- When Dave Dombrowski took over as the Red Sox's president of baseball operations on Aug. 18, 2015, the organization resided in last place in the American League East, but at the time it could bank on the promise of the game's best farm system.

The Red Sox won the AL East in Dombrowski's first full season on the job, and after he pulled off the biggest blockbuster deal of the Winter Meetings on Tuesday, they're the favorites to win the 2017 AL pennant. But as the big league club's fortunes have risen, Boston's system has headed in the opposite direction -- and those developments aren't unrelated.

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Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox acquire Sale for Moncada, 3 others

RHP Kopech, OF Basabe and RHP Diaz also headed to Chicago in deal

Red Sox acquire Sale for Moncada, 3 others

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox struck for a blockbuster trade that makes an already solid team a potentially fearsome one, acquiring lefty ace Chris Sale from the White Sox on Tuesday for a four-prospect package that includes infielder Yoan Moncada.

Boston also sent highly touted pitching prospect Michael Kopech, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and right-hander Victor Diaz to Chicago. Moncada is the top-ranked prospect in the game, according to MLBPipeline.com. The deal marks the first time in at least 25 years that baseball's No. 1 prospect has been traded, based on the rankings done by MLB Pipeline and Baseball America.

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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.

Source: Moreland agrees to 1-year deal with Red Sox

Source: Moreland agrees to 1-year deal with Red Sox

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox capped their wild Tuesday at the Winter Meetings by agreeing to terms with first baseman Mitch Moreland on a one-year deal that is contingent on a physical, MLB.com has learned.

MLB Network contributor Ken Rosenthal was first to report the news, which the Red Sox have not confirmed yet. MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi reported the deal is worth $5.5 million.

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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 land Thornburg for Shaw, 2 prospects

Boston sends third baseman, plus Dubon, Pennington to Milwaukee for reliever

Red Sox land Thornburg for Shaw, 2 prospects

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox accomplished their top priority of the offseason on Tuesday morning, acquiring righty setup man Tyler Thornburg in a trade with the Brewers, team president Dave Dombrowski announced.

Travis Shaw, who was Boston's primary third baseman in 2016, will move to Milwaukee in the deal. The Red Sox are also sending two prospects -- shortstop Mauricio Dubon and right-hander Josh Pennington -- as well as a player to be named or cash considerations.

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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

Richard Justice

Boston's deal for Sale tips scale in AL East

Dombrowski's penchant for a splash should have divisional domino effect

Boston's deal for Sale tips scale in AL East

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Boston Red Sox changed the balance of power in the American League East on Tuesday. Suddenly, the rest of the division is on the clock.

First, the big one.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Mike Petriello

Red Sox catchers could immediately make Sale look better

No AL pitcher was hurt more by framing than Sale in 2016

Red Sox catchers could immediately make Sale look better

Chris Sale is going to improve an already-dangerous Red Sox roster simply because he's one of the best pitchers in baseball and he'd improve any team significantly. But what if the opposite effect is true, too? What if simply moving to the Red Sox could improve Sale?

Though Fenway Park isn't necessarily the most friendly home for lefty pitching, there's an enormous reason why Sale ought to be happy to be in Boston, and it's not just the presence of elite fielders like Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. behind him, though that certainly helps. It's because the 2016 White Sox catchers were among the poorest pitch-framing groups on record. Simply by getting away from the South Side, and to Boston's more efficient catchers, Sale could look like a more effective pitcher.

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Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast. He has previously written for ESPN Insider and FanGraphs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Papi says that Sale trade has got him thinking ...

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Papi says that Sale trade has got him thinking ...

No matter how much we wanted him to continue playing and mashing dingers until the end of time, David Ortiz told us on multiple occasions that the 2016 season would be his last. He was adamant about it. He had a farewell tour. He got a surfboard. He probably wants to be a surfer.

But then, after the Red Sox acquired ace Chris Sale from the White Sox on Tuesday -- giving the team one of the best starting rotations in baseball -- Big Papi seemed to be having some second thoughts about this whole no more baseball thing ...

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Sox sign 1B/reliever dual-threat Moreland after trading for Sale

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Sox sign 1B/reliever dual-threat Moreland after trading for Sale

You might think that after acquiring Chris Sale in return for a quarter of prospects that included Yoan Moncada, the Red Sox would've had enough for one day. Clearly, however, they did not. Hours after adding Sale to a rotation that already boasts two of the past five AL Cy Young Award winners, Boston has reportedly bolstered their bullpen and installed a new slugger at first base with a single signing.

Fenway, say hello to your new dual threat: Mitch Moreland.

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Winter Meetings interview: Dombrowski, Farrell

THE MODERATOR: Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for joining us. As you know earlier today, the Red Sox acquired left-hander Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for four players: right-handed pitchers Michael Kopech, Victor Diaz, infielder Yoan Moncata and outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe. Here today we have Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and manager John Farrell to take your questions.

Q. Dave, could you talk about how quickly this trade all came together and how hard was it to trade some of the prospects you traded today?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Well, I guess you can look at it, at quickness in a couple of ways. At times we've talked about Chris Sale throughout the last couple of years. We really didn't have any ongoing conversations. We had the CBA being negotiated and I think a lot of things were on hold.

I got a call Friday night when I got back home 6:00 from Rick asking if we were going to be in -- that he was going to move him, he felt, at this point. After the CBA they were committed to making some moves in the organization, did we have interest. I said, Well, of course we have interest in Chris Sale, anybody in baseball would have interest in Chris Sale. It would be a matter of what you were looking to acquire and we talked a little bit.

He said, Well, we're going to get away from some of the things that we've asked for in the past.

I said, Well, we're prepared to give up a lot, which we know. And we went through some of the names. He talked to me Friday night, kind of put one thing in motion, if we would give up one player. Called me again Saturday, we had another name. And then we talked numerous times over the last few days.

So it accelerated, started on Friday with this deal. As far as the players we gave up, first of all, in Rick's case, I tip my cap, very professional, handled the situation well, very direct. We want back and forth, made calls when he said he would, so I tip my cap to him, he did his homework. This is one of these deals where we're absolutely thrilled to have Chris Sale on board with us. We feel it gives us a chance to win now. He's under contract for three years. Our rotation, we feel, is very strong. We think we have solidified our bullpen earlier in the day.

We gave up some good, young talent and there is no question. We gave up two of the better prospects in baseball in Moncata and Kopech. We liked the other two guys, but it came down to a point where we thought this gave us a significant chance to win. And you never can tell what happens if you can, first of all, make it to the postseason. But, secondly, if you get there, do you progress from there.

We saw last year we did not, but we think it gives us the best chance to do it. And it's not just for a one-year type of deal. But if I was in Rick's case, I would be very happy with the return I got because those are good, young players.

Q. Dave and John, just a thought on having Chris now in this rotation to go with Price and company and what it means to the team and to you, John, going forward and what can you tell us about Chris Sale from your perspective?
JOHN FARRELL: Well, the best thing is we don't have to face him across the field anymore. I think that's number one. But I think we've found ourselves in a great position to acquire such an elite starter. He deepens the rotation, to go alongside with David and Rick, Eddie, Drew. We've got a deep rotation.

But I think the one thing that this is a reminder and certainly a repeat is how aggressive our ownership and Dave are going to be to allow us and enable us at field level with a chance to win every year we take the field.

DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Well, really to echo what John just said, it deepens the rotation, it makes our bullpen strong, thankful to our ownership to give us the opportunity to do the same thing that we did. Our staff did a tremendous job. I think really it puts us in a spot where we go out there and feel good about our ball club. You never can tell what takes place, I see that Joe Maddon is over there, we would like to duplicate what he did last year, that's your ultimate goal year in and year out and that's what you want to accomplish.

Q. Obviously Chris Sale adds a lot to the rotation, but what is it specifically that he brings that makes him such a dominant pitcher?
JOHN FARRELL: In between the lines, he pitches with an edge. His numbers and performance speak for themselves but I think there is maybe a persona that he projects certainly across the field. That's what you feel. That's the image that the team will reflect or take with him when he's on the mound. And that edge and that competitive nature that he has, I think anytime you can add those types of personalities to go along with the abilities, you're getting the premium type of players that you hope to have on your roster.

Q. John, talk about what you accomplished today with the moves that Dave was able to do? How much better of a team are you today than you were last year when you were good enough to win the division?
JOHN FARRELL: The one thing that's been so forthright about Dave is that there is really no hiding behind the fact of what our needs are and how we're going to go about to achieve it. We've been able to do that. We've improved our pitching staff on the whole, we know that.

So in light of David Ortiz' retirement, how we were going to improve our team, we felt like pitching was the priority and really have been able to do that over the last couple of days here.

Q. Dave, you certainly faced questions about David Price's postseason history when he was signed last offseason. Chris doesn't have any. Was that a concern at all as to how he might respond to the postseason pressures?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Not really, I think that Chris Sale is a premium pitcher, he's pitched in big games, won big games. When I talked to him on the phone, I said it would be nice to have you win games for a club I'm with rather than sticking it to us on a consistent basis. I know how tough he is out there. You still have to go out there -- I never know what's going to happen when a guy pitches, but I like my chances when he takes the mound at anytime of year.

Q. This being a notoriously thin free agent starting pitching market, you now have seven starters, realizing that you want depth. Are you now in a position where you might be able to trade a starter to address some other needs or restock the system?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: I would say perhaps, but not a necessity. As you say there is really not room for seven starters and we also have three guys we like behind that with ^ ck and Johnson. So we're deep in that regard. And as you never know you never have enough pitching, but we would at least be open minded.

Q. Are you now open for business for a hitter?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: We're looking to add an individual that we have described all along, we're really not looking for a long-term-type hitter.

I think we have improved our pitching. Sometimes you have to go about ways to improve your club in different ways. We think as good as our pitching was the second half of last year, we hope it's better. You have to still go out there and perform. We will look to add somebody that we lost, Travis Shaw, that played a role for us. I think we would look for somebody that could help us play that type of role, but I'm not sure we will go out there and still be in a position where we add those big-name type of guys.

Q. Will you be more apt to do that via trade now that you have the excess starting pitching?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: I'm not sure about that yet. I think we're open to free agency and I think we're also open to making trades.

Q. Dave, in your long career, can you think of any other times when you came close to or did trade away a number one prospect in baseball? With Moncata, the acquisition costs seemed to make him a one of a kind. How did that not complicate the deal?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: It did complicate the deal. I've gave up ones, but I've given up twos and threes and top-10s in a Cabrera type of deal. So, yes.

It's a very difficult deal to make, but I've also been in a spot where you have to give something to get something. The ability to get a Chris Sale doesn't come along that often. This is one of the best pitchers in baseball, proven. We're trying to win. There will come a day when Moncata is putting in his 15-year career that we will be saying, the Red Sox, Geez, I can't believe we traded that guy. So yes, it does complicate it.

I think the positive about it that made it easier in addition to the Sale acquisition is the amount of young players we still have at the big league level. And also I know we traded a lot of guys, but a tip of my cap to the organization, the regime, with Ben and Mike Hazen and the rest of the group that's still here, they really -- we have still some really good young players at the big league level.

You've got a guy like Rafael Devers still sitting there, you've got Sam Travis still sitting there, you've got Blake Swihart still sitting there, you've got Marco Hernandez still sitting there. And you've got a young outfield like Benintendi and Bradley and a young guy at short stop in Bogaerts and a young catcher and some young pitching. So it's not like you're sitting there and trading your only guy.

I do know that by no means are we as strong now as what we were, but I talked to our group and I think that they will meet the challenge, they're a group of talented individuals. Player development and scouting international operations, they found these players in the past and that's why we're sitting here able to make this type of trade. And I think they will go out and find some really good talent for us as we go forward. We feel good about some of the players we drafted this last year that people don't know about.

It's interesting, the number of players that people ask about that even at the lower levels where people said I don't really want to trade that guy.

So, yes, he's a great player and if he's not a tremendous player I will be very surprised. But, again, you've got to give to get and because of the talents of some of the people it makes it a little bit easier.

Q. As good as Moncata is and with the starters that you have, I don't know that people would have blamed you if you kept things the way they are. Why is it important to be aggressive now?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: I think it's a situation where when you have a chance to win, you want to give yourself every opportunity to do so, if you can improve your club. And for us this deal improved us.

I'm not sure if at the mid-season, for example, if we didn't get Pomeranz if we would have won our division. I'm not sure. Of course, Rodriguez came up at that time, too. So we really stabilized our rotation the second half of the season. But anytime you get there, short of just a total give-away of your system or making moves that you don't think are smart, I think you go for it. And the thing for us, I mean, almost all these guys are under contract for at least three years. In baseball, four years down the road is like an eternity in many ways. So you need to try to take advantage of that opportunity.

Nothing is guaranteed in life. You don't even make these moves and it doesn't mean that you're going to win by any means, but I think you keep taking a chance and going for it as much as possibly can and hopefully it works for you some day. Every one of these moves made us better. Because of the strength that the system that people built and because of the young players that we still have, I think we're still strong for many, many years.

Q. David, in a matter of hours, you traded your third baseman of the future probably on the third baseman that started last season as a regular. Does it mean that Pablo Sandoval, the guy you signed two years ago to play third base, is going to be not playing third base?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Well, it does show where we have faith in how he has worked hard, and he's been a good player in the past. He's worked very hard this winter. He's healthy. He's been at Fort Myers the whole time at our complex just working. We feel good about where he is from a health perspective. Of course he has to do it.

When it comes to guarantees, there's no guarantees he'll play. This gentleman over here will make those decisions. But we like the place he's put himself in and I will let John speak a little bit to that.

JOHN FARRELL: I think the main thing that Pablo has done is put himself back in tremendous physical condition. We're not asking for Pablo to be anything more than he was prior to signing him, and that is a very good, everyday Major League player. He's got to go back out and earn it, and I think that's the one thing that has been -- that's the tone that has been set pretty clear to our players, going back to the first of Spring Training last year, is that you go out and perform and you're going to have opportunity.

That played out last year with Travis Shaw. But I think the challenges that Pablo has gone through, he is extremely motivated to get back to the level that he was previous.

Q. Dave, aside from Sale's dominance on the mound how much did his contract and the way that it factors into the CBA over the next couple of years that you were talking about yesterday factor into trading away Moncata and Kopech?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: I think it's a great question and it does affect your decisions. He's a good pitcher, no matter what. But he's a good pitcher that's a club-friendly contract and when you are dealing with -- I don't think in today's -- and it's been like this for a long time. I don't think you make moves on just ability, it's ability and finances that are tied together.

I think when you look at our situation, again, our goal is to if we can -- and, again, I'm not sure where we're going to end up, but if we could get below the CBT it would be great because of some of the factors involved that we discussed. And it's helpful, I don't think there is any question about it.

Q. If you guys had not acquired Sale, did you have a plan to get a marquis starter or was it Sale or nothing?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Pretty much Sale or nothing. We didn't have any other conversations taking place because we like our rotation as it is. I really didn't think it was a big need for us. When I talked to Rick on Friday, I said, This is not really our biggest need. We have the CY Young award winner in Rick Porcello; David Price, one of the best pitchers in baseball; Steven Wright coming back, he's healthy, made the All-Star team last year; Drew Pomeranz made the All-Star team last year.

So when you look at it, Clay Buchholz pitched very well the second half of the year for us and Eduardo Rodriguez is one of the best young pitchers a lot of people don't know about yet but they will. But it's a situation that we thought that this made us that much better. But we didn't have anybody else that we were pursuing whatsoever because we didn't think there was anybody else even close to the availability that would make us better like this.

Q. The bullpen, you feel you finish already, so no more Koji?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: Correct, we did speak with Koji. He did a great job for the Boston Red Sox organization for years. Great deal of sentiment for him. We were talking to him, we had actually made him an offer a few days ago, they wanted to see what else was out there. We were in a position where we had a lot of things going on at one time.

Brian O'Halloran, our senior vice president, assistant general manager was talking to his representative all along. And we had told them something could happen and if it did we would be in a position where we would be out and he understood. So yes, we are in that position. But want to be very thankful to Koji for everything he did with our organization. But when we got Tyler Thornburg, we really like his abilities a great deal to fill that role.

Q. Dave, how close was the competition in the last 24, twelve hours, especially with the Nationals, and who heard first in the room that you got the deal done?
DAVE DOMBROWSKI: That's a good question, because I never know how close it was, you will have to ask the White Sox that question. Rick will be able to answer that question better than I can. If they're doing your job, you don't know that answer very well.

There was one week where we thought we might make the deal and Rick said, I need more time, called me back around 10:00-ish, said he would make the deal but he needed to sit down with ownership. So that was their phase of it, then there was the phase -- and everybody is happy there, we need to check medicals from all ends of it, which is never a short process. But when we finally got to it, everybody was thrilled and ecstatic in our room.

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Red Sox pick up Farrell's 2018 club option

Red Sox pick up Farrell's 2018 club option

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox have once again demonstrated their confidence in manager John Farrell, exercising his option for the 2018 season.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski made the announcement to the media from his suite on Day 1 of the Winter Meetings on Monday. Farrell also was on hand.

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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 have bevy of stars in next WBC

Red Sox have bevy of stars in next WBC

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Red Sox could be well-represented in the upcoming World Baseball Classic.

All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts is a confirmed participant for the Netherlands, it was announced Monday. Hanley Ramirez revealed a few days ago that he plans on playing for the Dominican Republic, though an official confirmation has not reached the Red Sox yet.

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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 contribute items to 'Play Ball' auction

Boston fans can bid to watch BP on field, meet Farrell and more

Red Sox contribute items to 'Play Ball' auction

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- Red Sox manager John Farrell is forever grateful that he defeated cancer and was able to return for the magical 2016 season, in which his team won 93 games and the American League East title.

But Farrell doesn't lose sight of those who weren't as fortunate, and he's always willing to help put his name toward a worthy cause.

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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.

Papi will be missed -- even by his opponents

Guests at charity golf tournament -- including Jones, Bautista and Stroman -- reflect on Ortiz's impact

Papi will be missed -- even by his opponents

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- The reality that David Ortiz won't swing his big bat again is still sinking in for his friends from around the game who have competed against him for so long.

Many of them joined the gregarious slugger this weekend for his ninth annual charity golf tournament, which provided three days of constant laughs and camaraderie.

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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 announces plan to play in '17 Classic

Hanley announces plan to play in '17 Classic

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- Before trying to get the Red Sox back to the postseason, Hanley Ramirez plans on helping the Dominican Republic defend its championship in the World Baseball Classic.

After experiencing the thrill of playing for the DR's title-winning team three years ago, Ramirez confirmed Friday from David Ortiz's charity golf tournament that he plans on suiting up again for his country.

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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.

Ortiz talks retirement, Sox at charity golf event

Ortiz talks retirement, Sox at charity golf event

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic -- It has been 53 days since David Ortiz swung his bat for the final time in a Major League game. At least at this stage, the slugger is basking in retirement while at the same time staying in-tuned with the game he loves so much.

Sure, it is going to feel strange for Big Papi when his former teammates and friends throughout the game start reporting to Spring Training. In a way, however, it will be liberating.

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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 don't tender contract to catcher Holaday

Sox don't tender contract to catcher Holaday

BOSTON -- The Red Sox announced Friday that they did not tender a 2017 contract to catcher Bryan Holaday, making Holaday a free agent.

Sandy Leon, Christian Vazquez (out of Minor League options) and Blake Swihart are vying for two spots behind the plate. That didn't leave room for the 29-year-old Holaday, who was acquired from the Rangers on Aug. 5, 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.

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

New agreement includes change to home-field advantage in World Series

Peace & glove: Owners, players reach CBA deal

IRVING, Texas -- Major League Baseball's players and owners reached a tentative five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement through the 2021 season on Wednesday night. The parties will follow up today with a formal document, which then must be ratified by representatives of both sides. 

At 8:40 p.m. ET, an assortment of happy players, owners, lawyers and staffers poured from meeting rooms to exchange handshakes and hugs. That's how quickly 36 hours of round-the-clock negotiations ended, nearly four hours before today's deadline of 12:01 a.m. ET to reach a deal. Short of an agreement, the sport was faced with the best-case scenario of an extension or owners could have imposed a lockout.

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Big Papi wins eighth Outstanding DH Award

Red Sox slugger posts huge numbers in final season

Big Papi wins eighth Outstanding DH Award

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, fresh off perhaps the best walk-off season in history, has been voted the winner of the 2016 Edgar Martinez Outstanding Designated Hitter Award.

Big Papi extended his own record by winning the award for an eighth time. Martinez won it five times during his impressive career with the Mariners.

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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.

Porcello's turnaround nets Comeback Award

AL Cy Young winner cites consistency, quality of strikes as reasons for success

Porcello's turnaround nets Comeback Award

BOSTON -- By following the toughest season of his career with his best, Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello earned yet another accolade on Tuesday when he was named the American League's Comeback Player of the Year Award winner.

Porcello emerged into a force in his second season in Boston, posting a 22-4 record and a 3.15 ERA.

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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.

Inbox: What will Red Sox do with Panda?

Beat reporter Ian Browne answers questions from fans

Inbox: What will Red Sox do with Panda?

What do the Red Sox plan to do with Pablo Sandoval? I can't see trading him given the massive contract they gave him.
-- Chris R., Wellesley, Mass.

The plan is to evaluate Sandoval in Spring Training and give him a chance to win his job back. Travis Shaw had a chance to claim third base, but was inconsistent in his first full season. For the second straight year, you should see a full-fledged competition at the hot corner. By all accounts, Sandoval has worked extremely hard during his rehab from left shoulder surgery. By February and March, we will see if there's some payoff. I don't believe the Red Sox will trade Sandoval at this point because his value is low right now.

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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.

Former Red Sox pitcher Ferriss dies at 94

Righty still holds the club's rookie records for wins, shutouts and complete games

Former Red Sox pitcher Ferriss dies at 94

Former Red Sox right-hander Dave "Boo" Ferriss, who pitched six seasons in the Major Leagues for Boston from 1945-50, died on Thursday at age 94 at his home in Cleveland, Miss.

Ferriss was an All-Star in 1946 as a 24-year-old, when he helped pitch the Red Sox to the American League pennant. That season, he went 25-6 with a 3.25 ERA -- including 13 straight wins at Fenway Park, tied for the Red Sox's franchise record. He threw a shutout in Game 3 of the World Series against the Cardinals and had a no-decision in Boston's loss in Game 7.

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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.

Porcello's charity endeavor sparks lasting friendship

Team Joseph advocate has built bond with teen fighting muscular dystrophy

Porcello's charity endeavor sparks lasting friendship

BOSTON -- The coming of age for Rick Porcello as a pitcher came this past season, when he was rewarded for his newfound dominance by winning the American League Cy Young Award.

But long before that, Porcello blossomed as someone willing to put his name, his money and, most importantly, his heart into a worthy cause.

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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 makes Hall of Fame ballot debut

Prolific hitter known for postseason heroics, offbeat persona

Manny makes Hall of Fame ballot debut

BOSTON -- A hitting machine from the right side of the plate who also happened to be one of the most unforgettable characters of his era, Manny Ramirez is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

The statistics are clearly Cooperstown-worthy. Ramirez had a slash line of .312/.411/.585 over his 19-year career while clubbing 555 homers with 1,831 RBIs. He was also a force in the postseason, helping lead the Red Sox to World Series championships in 2004 and '07 before producing some October heroics for the Dodgers in '08 and '09.

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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.

Varitek, Wakefield on HOF ballot for 1st time

Pair was inducted into Red Sox Hall of Fame last summer

Varitek, Wakefield on HOF ballot for 1st time

BOSTON -- Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield, cornerstone players for the 2004 and '07 World Series-champion Red Sox teams, are on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.

A switch-hitting catcher known for his leadership behind the plate and his relentless approach in all facets of the game, Varitek played exclusively for Boston in a career that started in 1997 and ended in 2011.

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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.

Cabrera, Drew get first shots on Hall ballot

Posada, Magglio, Wakefield among those seeking enshrinement in 2017

Cabrera, Drew get first shots on Hall ballot

Soon, members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America will cast their ballots for the Hall of Fame's Class of 2017.

Among their choices will be returners who fell just shy of the 75-percent threshold in last year's voting, a group that includes Jeff Bagwell (71.6 percent), Tim Raines (69.8) and Trevor Hoffman (67.3). There also are a few high-profile newcomers. Vladimir Guerrero was a feared hitter with 449 homers and a National League MVP Award, Ivan Rodriguez is third all-time among catchers in wins above replacement (WAR), and Manny Ramirez hit 555 homers but also was suspended twice for his use of performance-enhancing drugs.

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