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

Barry M. Bloom

Watch HOF announcement coverage live, 5 ET Wednesday

Watch HOF announcement coverage live, 5 ET Wednesday

NEW YORK -- Wednesday is the big day. The National Baseball Hall of Fame announces its Class of 2017, selected in a vote last month by the eligible members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

As many as five candidates -- and possibly six -- could be elected according to the public ballots amassed online, with Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell looking all but certain, plus Ivan Rodriguez, Vladimir Guerrero and Trevor Hoffman hovering around the 75 percent threshold. Even Edgar Martinez has made huge gains from last year and is within reach of election.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. 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.

Breaking down Schilling's Hall of Fame case

Six-time All-Star on ballot for 5th year

Breaking down Schilling's Hall of Fame case

Curt Schilling is in his fifth year on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, meaning if he's not elected this year, he'll be halfway through his 10-year window for election by voting members of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

A six-time All-Star, Schilling played for the Orioles, Astros, Phillies, D-backs and Red Sox and won three World Series over his 20-year career. He received 52.3 percent of the vote on the 2016 ballot, falling short of the 75-percent threshold needed for induction into Cooperstown.

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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.

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.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Pipeline poll: Execs tab Benintendi as game's best prospect

In survey, Benintendi edges Moncada, Reyes runs away with top-hurler tag

Pipeline poll: Execs tab Benintendi as game's best prospect

A year ago, MLBPipeline.com introduced the Pipeline Poll, where general managers and scouting executives were asked to choose the game's top prospects. In that edition, Corey Seager was the clear-cut winner as the overwhelming choice for top overall prospect, and that seemed to work out pretty well.

The 22-year-old was an All-Star, won the National League Rookie of the Year Award, finished third in the NL Most Valuable Player Award voting and set a slew of franchise records, including most homers, hits, doubles and total bases by a Dodgers rookie shortstop.

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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.

Inbox: What will Swihart's role be in 2017?

Red Sox beat reporter Ian Browne answers fans' questions

Inbox: What will Swihart's role be in 2017?

What will Blake Swihart's role be in 2017? Will he go back to catching, or will he still have some stints in left field?
-- James Y., Wells, Maine

The plan is for Swihart to come to camp as a catcher, focus on that and prove that he's healthy following his left ankle injury. It was only a year ago that the Red Sox expected Swihart would be their catcher of the future. It will be intriguing to see what kind of comeback he can make and how he fares in the competition for the starting catching job.

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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.

Watch Fenway become an ice rink to host #FrozenFenway

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Watch Fenway become an ice rink to host #FrozenFenway

A day after Busch Stadium hosted the NHL Winter Classic -- which the "home" team St. Louis Blues won, 4-1 -- Fenway Park began its two-week long Frozen Fenway series. The home of the Red Sox will host high school and college hockey games and figure skating shows through Jan. 16, so it got a little makeover for the new year:

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Sox champing at the bit to go on run in '17

Addition of Sale strengthens front of rotation; replacing Papi won't be easy

Sox champing at the bit to go on run in '17

Is it Opening Day yet?

After one blockbuster move to acquire lefty ace Chris Sale, Red Sox fans are salivating for the start of what could 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.

Ortiz made his farewell the grand finale of '16

Boston slugger's goodbye tour one of MLB's top stories of year

Ortiz made his farewell the grand finale of '16

BOSTON -- As it turned out, David Ortiz was even a legend at saying goodbye.

Closure is never an easy thing for anyone in any profession.

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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's last hurrah an exhilarating ride for Sox

Though Boston's season had abrupt end, journey was filled with lasting memories

Papi's last hurrah an exhilarating ride for Sox

The Red Sox returned to prominence in 2016 with an entertaining year that included a legend's final masterpiece, the emergence of a young superstar, an unlikely American League Cy Young Award winner and an AL East title.

Coming off consecutive last-place finishes, it was a season to savor for Boston's passionate baseball fans.

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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.

The Hall of Fame Case: Tim Wakefield

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The Hall of Fame Case: Tim Wakefield

The likes of Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines -- and even first-timers like Vladimir Guerrero or Pudge Rodriguez -- shouldn't have too much trouble racking up National Baseball Hall of Fame votes. But there are plenty of other players on the 2017 ballot who require a little more voter-cajoling. Players that may not have the on-field resume, but deserve an impassioned Hall of Fame case nonetheless. Players like ...

Timothy Stephen Wakefield. Born on Aug. 2, 1966, Wakefield's career is a real-life Horatio Alger novel. Originally a position player, Wakefield only took to the mound when his other baseballing options had disappeared into the ether. Whereas other players might have given up, Wakefield pulled himself up by his knuckleball to play in 19 Major League seasons.

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Grand slam? Ortiz takes up tennis

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Grand slam? Ortiz takes up tennis

David Ortiz may have retired (or did he?) from baseball after a prodigious final campaign for the Red Sox, but he's still capable of crushing things with authority.

Witness a new TV spot for TurboTax featuring Big Papi, tennis racket in hand, crushing a bunch of tennis balls like they were grooved fastballs down the middle. No waiter or statue is safe from his reign.

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Most amazing American League games of 2016

Most amazing American League games of 2016

The Indians came thisclose to bringing a World Series title home to their fans and to the American League after an amazing 2016 season. Taking the Chicago Cubs to the 10th inning of the seventh game of the Fall Classic was just about as memorable as it gets.

But the Indians were one of 15 teams in the AL, and each one had its own Game of the Year. In consultation with the MLB.com beat reporters for every team, here are the best individual games for each AL club during another fantastic year in Major League Baseball:

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Red Sox, Yanks could play in London in '18

New Collective Bargaining Agreement sets framework for series in UK capital

Red Sox, Yanks could play in London in '18

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox and the Yankees have faced off in 2,156 regular-season games over their century-plus of knowing each other. All of those meetings have taken place in either Boston or New York, a fact which could change as soon as 2018.

With Major League Baseball's new Collective Bargaining Agreement setting the framework for a series to be played in London, there is discussion being given toward turning the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry into an international event.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.