Holt past concussion, looking ahead to 2015

Symptoms gone for Red Sox's versatile, confident super-utility man

Holt past concussion, looking ahead to 2015

BOSTON -- A late-season concussion aside, one of the few bright spots for the Red Sox in 2014 was the play of Brock Holt, who came out of nowhere to contribute all over the diamond.

Holt's plan to make a cameo in the instructional league as reassurance that his concussion symptoms were clear didn't pan out for timing reasons. The good news is that Holt is now concussion-free, and he is going through his offseason as planned.

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

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MLB.com Columnist

Bernie Pleskoff

Castillo brings solid bat, great speed to Red Sox outfield

Castillo brings solid bat, great speed to Red Sox outfield

I was fortunate to get plenty of looks at exciting Boston Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo before he hurt his thumb and left the Arizona Fall League in late October.

Following Castillo's defection from Cuba and after establishing residency in the Dominican Republic, the Red Sox signed him as an international free agent this past August. He is signed through 2020.

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Bernie Pleskoff has served as a professional scout for the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners. Follow @BerniePleskoff on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Red Sox offer Lester, prepare one for Panda

Red Sox offer Lester, prepare one for Panda

BOSTON -- The Red Sox have extended an offer to lefty Jon Lester, and they are close to making one to third baseman Pablo Sandoval, sources tell MLB.com.

Those developments are significant considering that Lester and Sandoval are perhaps Boston's top two targets on the free-agent market. The Red Sox have not confirmed the offers.

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

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Red Sox fill 40-man roster, protect four from Rule 5 Draft

Touted youngsters Swihart, Rodriguez highlight promoted prospects

Red Sox fill 40-man roster, protect four from Rule 5 Draft

BOSTON -- In preparation for the Rule 5 Draft next month, the Red Sox protected four prospects by adding them to the 40-man roster on Thursday.

The quartet consists of catcher Blake Swihart, lefty Eduardo Rodriguez and infielders Travis Shaw and Sean Coyle. The moves put Boston's roster at 40.

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

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Farrell, Francona and Hale thrilled to reunite in Japan

Farrell, Francona and Hale thrilled to reunite at All-Star Series in Japan

Farrell, Francona and Hale thrilled to reunite in Japan

SAPPORO, Japan -- Halfway around the world, in vast domes bearing little resemblance to baseball stadiums back home, John Farrell, Terry Francona and DeMarlo Hale hunkered down together in clubhouse after clubhouse. Each day, they had opportunities to talk about their strange surroundings. They had chances to compare their favorite types of sushi. They had plenty of time to discuss the weather.

Mostly, though, their minds stayed elsewhere.

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

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MLB.com Columnist

Mike Bauman

Red Sox showing signs for another quick turnaround

Interest in Lester, Sandoval reflect desire to return to prominence

Red Sox showing signs for another quick turnaround

The recent journey of the Boston Red Sox -- worst to first to worst -- makes the conventional description of "roller-coaster" seem truly feeble.

But the good news for Red Sox Nation -- or Red Sox Planet, to be truly global about it -- is that the organization seems to view this offseason as a chance to reload and regroup and get back to where it once belonged.

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Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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Red Sox claim Francisco off waivers from Jays

Red Sox claim Francisco off waivers from Jays

The Red Sox claimed infielder Juan Francisco off waivers from the Blue Jays on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old played in 106 games for Toronto last season and could add some pop to a Boston lineup that lacked power in 2014. While he had a .220 average with the Blue Jays, Francisco managed 16 home runs and 43 RBIs, averaging an extra-base hit every 11.8 at-bats, the ninth-best rate in the American League.

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

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Panda excited about visit with Red Sox

Panda excited about visit with Red Sox

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval took his free-agent tour to Boston on Monday, arriving at Logan Airport in the afternoon and telling local news channel WHDH-TV that he is "excited" for a visit with the Red Sox.

Sandoval is in town with his agent, Gustavo Vazquez, and his older brother, Michael.

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

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Inbox: Will Barnes be in mix for rotation spot?

Beat reporter Ian Browne answers questions from Red Sox fans

Inbox: Will Barnes be in mix for rotation spot?

I've been eager to see Matt Barnes pitch since the Red Sox drafted him out of UConn. Do you think this will be the year he breaks into the rotation?
-- Rich P., Southington, Conn.

Barnes is one of several prospects in the system who will get an extended look in Spring Training to see if he is a viable option to pitch in the rotation. It remains to be seen how many spots will be available by the time Spring Training starts, but I wouldn't be surprised if at least one starting slot is there for the taking by one of the young guys. Barnes definitely has an impressive repertoire, and he showed some flashes during his callup in September.

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

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Pipeline Perspectives: Castillo the next AL ROY?

Big rookie seasons projected for Red Sox outfielder, Mets righty in 2015

Pipeline Perspectives: Castillo the next AL ROY?

There's a good amount of subjectivity regarding baseball prospects. With the evaluation of talent being in the eye of the beholder, finding consensus is often difficult. Even Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo of MLBPipeline.com don't always see eye to eye. They discuss their viewpoints regularly in a feature called Pipeline Perspectives. Submit a topic for them to debate.

On the heels of the Baseball Writers' Association of America announcing its award winners for the 2014 season last week, our latest task at Pipeline Perspectives is to predict the 2015 Rookie of the Year Award winners.

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

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Red Sox revisit long-term deals, but due diligence key

Boston has appeared reluctant after Crawford, Adrian, but Sandoval seeking multiyear offer

Red Sox revisit long-term deals, but due diligence key

If the Red Sox are successful in signing free-agent third baseman Pablo Sandoval, they will likely have to change their recent course of avoiding contracts of longer than three years.

Coming off a last-place finish in 2014 -- the second Boston has had in the last three years -- general manager Ben Cherington will explore all avenues to improve his franchise quickly, including long-term contracts to the right free agents.

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

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Castillo looking like a 'go' for winter ball

Castillo looking like a 'go' for winter ball

BOSTON -- All signs point to Red Sox center fielder Rusney Castillo being healed enough from a right thumb contusion that he will be able to begin playing winter ball in Puerto Rico later this month.

Castillo suffered the injury in late October in the Arizona Fall League, limiting his stint there to eight games. But after undergoing some medical evaluation earlier this week, it appears as if Castillo is healthy enough to ramp back up and get the at-bats the Red Sox were hoping he could log before Spring Training.

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

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MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

A team-by-team breakdown of who impressed and how each club's top player fared

Top performances, prospects from 2014 Fall League

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Fall League is known as baseball's finishing school because it has graduated a ton of talent to the Major Leagues since it began play in 1992. The AFL has produced 212 All-Stars, including 35 in this year's Midsummer Classic, 25 Rookies of the Year, 13 MVPs and five Cy Young Award winners.

Based on the quality of the talent in the AFL this year, more big leaguers and stars are on the way. The league wrapped up its 23rd season on Saturday, with the Salt River Rafters outlasting the Peoria Javelinas, 14-7, for their fourth title and first since 2011.

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

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Despite rumors, Cherington wants to keep Cespedes

Red Sox general manager knows he will need patience with pitching market

Despite rumors, Cherington wants to keep Cespedes

BOSTON -- Considering that power hitters are getting harder to find these days, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington seems almost amused by the outside perception that he is looking to trade Yoenis Cespedes.

"I understand why, in a place like Boston, when a guy has one year left [on his contract], there's going to be some [speculation], and we have some numbers in that area, I guess I understand why there's speculation out there," Cherington told reporters at the General Managers Meetings on Tuesday.

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

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Red Sox prospect Coyle goes yard in AFL win

Red Sox prospect Coyle goes yard in AFL win

In the early stages of its game Tuesday against Mesa, Surprise had relied on its pitching to hold a slim lead. But after the Solar Sox scratched out a run in the sixth, the Saguaros found the game tied heading into the late innings.

Surprise's offense quickly reasserted itself against right-hander Roberto Osuna. Catcher Pat Cantwell hit a one-out double and second baseman Sean Coyle followed with a two-run home run to retake the lead.

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

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Inbox: What's Castillo's spot in the lineup?

Beat reporter Ian Browne answers questions from Red Sox fans

Inbox: What's Castillo's spot in the lineup?

Where would Rusney Castillo fit in the Red Sox's lineup if they pick up Pablo Sandoval? Would he be comfortable in the leadoff spot?
-- Jack C., Sudbury, Mass.

I'm not sure how the presence of Sandoval would impact Castillo, since one of them is a third baseman and the other one is an outfielder. Castillo has often hit in the leadoff spot, so he would be comfortable there. The question is whether he would get on base enough to justify that spot in the batting order.

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

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Victorino ready to reclaim right field with Red Sox

Outfielder, who missed most of 2014 season due to injuries, focused on getting healthy

Victorino ready to reclaim right field with Red Sox

BOSTON -- You've heard all about the logjam the Red Sox face in the outfield heading into 2015. With Yoenis Cespedes, Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Rusney Castillo, Daniel Nava and Allen Craig, how does everyone fit?

And then there is the forgotten man -- the one who has probably accomplished the most of the entire group. Don't worry about hurting Shane Victorino's feelings, though. If you somehow erased Victorino from your memory bank after injuries wiped away the majority of his 2014 season, that just adds more fire for him.

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

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Sox unveil Spring Training slate

Yanks visit March 13; all tickets on sale Dec. 6

Sox unveil Spring Training slate

BOSTON -- The Red Sox of 2015 will take the field in Grapefruit League action for the first time on March 5, with a road game against the Twins.

The next day, the Sox will host the Marlins for a 1:05 p.m. ET contest at JetBlue Park.

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

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Pedroia joins Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame

Red Sox star calls 2004 AFL stint 'great opportunity' to learn from peers

Pedroia joins Arizona Fall League Hall of Fame

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It's hard to find a baseball resume more complete than that of Dustin Pedroia.

The Red Sox second baseman has won an AL MVP (2008), four Gold Gloves (2008, '11, '13, '14), a Silver Slugger ('08) and a Rookie of the Year Award ('07). He is also a four-time All-Star (2008-10 and '13) and a two-time World Series champion ('07, '13).

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

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Pedroia sets Red Sox infield mark with fourth Gold Glove

Veteran wins second straight, posts best fielding percentage by Boston second baseman

Pedroia sets Red Sox infield mark with fourth Gold Glove

BOSTON -- Dustin Pedroia was spectacular on defense in 2014 -- not to mention nearly flawless -- and he received recognition for his efforts on Tuesday by being named the American League's Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner at second base.

It was the second consecutive Gold Glove Award for Pedroia, and his fourth in his eight seasons as the starting second baseman for the Red Sox.

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

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Inbox: Was re-signing Uehara a wise move?

Beat reporter Ian Browne answers Red Sox fans' questions

Inbox: Was re-signing Uehara a wise move?

Click here to submit an Inbox question.

Do you think re-signing Koji Uehara for another two years was a good move for the Red Sox?
-- Sam S., Victoria

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

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Red Sox positioned for active Hot Stove season

Cherington has motivation, resources to obtain pieces for 2015 turnaround

Red Sox positioned for active Hot Stove season

• Hot Stove Tracker

The conclusion of the World Series means the beginning of what will be a busy Hot Stove season for Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. A second last-place American League East finish in three seasons didn't sit well within anyone in the offices of 4 Yawkey Way, and Cherington will try to spearhead a turnaround.

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

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Red Sox decline Breslow's option for 2015

Red Sox decline Breslow's option for 2015

BOSTON -- The Red Sox declined their $4 million option on reliever Craig Breslow on Friday and paid him a $100,000 buyout, allowing the veteran lefty to become a free agent.

A key component during Boston's run to the 2013 World Series championship, Breslow struggled mightily in '14, posting a 5.96 ERA over 60 appearances. In 54 1/3 innings, Breslow allowed 73 hits and opponents hit him at a .319 clip.

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

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Red Sox sign Uehara to two-year deal

Closer, who turns 40 in April, to be paid $18 million over two seasons

Red Sox sign Uehara to two-year deal

BOSTON -- Perhaps it was fitting that the Red Sox announced a two-year extension with closer Koji Uehara on Thursday, considering it was the one-year anniversary of the righty striking out the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter for the final out of the clinching Game 6 of the World Series.

With Uehara back in the fold for a couple of more years, the hope is that he can once again be the last pitcher standing in October.

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

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Cherington hopes to meet with Lester

Cherington hopes to meet with Lester

BOSTON -- Starting on Tuesday, the Red Sox can negotiate with free agents on other teams. And that could include a pitcher the Red Sox are extremely familiar with in lefty Jon Lester, the man they traded to the Oakland Athletics for Yoenis Cespedes back in July.

The rotation is one of the key areas of need for Boston this offseason.

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

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Castillo may not play winter ball because of thumb injury

Red Sox outfielder sustained contusion during Arizona Fall League

Castillo may not play winter ball because of thumb injury

BOSTON -- Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo's plan of getting a number of at-bats during the offseason has been derailed by a right thumb contusion he sustained while playing in the Arizona Fall League.

Originally, Castillo was supposed to play winter ball after he was done in the AFL, but there's now a chance he won't get any more at-bats until Spring Training.

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

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Three-time All-Star Youkilis retires from baseball

Gritty infielder was a contributor to Red Sox's World Series titles in 2004, '07

Three-time All-Star Youkilis retires from baseball

Best known for his relentless at-bats and gritty style of play, Kevin Youkilis announced his retirement from baseball on Thursday.

Youkilis, who played in Japan last season, made his announcement through his agency. Pro Star Management tweeted on Thursday afternoon: "15-yr client, Kevin Youkilis, after deep thought about family and health, is calling it a career. Been a great one! Love ya, Youk. #YOOOUUUK."

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

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Tiant among 10 on Hall of Fame Golden Era ballot

K. Boyer, Hodges, Howsam, Kaat, Minoso, Oliva, Pierce, Tiant also to be considered for election

Tiant among 10 on Hall of Fame Golden Era ballot

Nine former players and one executive make up the 10-person National Baseball Hall of Fame Golden Era ballot, which will be voted on Dec. 8 at the Winter Meetings in San Diego.

The ballot's 10 candidates are Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce, Luis Tiant and Maury Wills. Howsam is being considered for Hall of Fame induction for his contributions as an executive, while the other nine are being considered for their on-field contributions as players.

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

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