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Red Sox release spring training schedule

11.03.15 at 4:33 pm ET
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Spring training schedule Red Sox 2016Pitchers and catchers report to Fort Myers on Feb. 18 and the Red Sox will open their spring training slate with the annual Boston College-Northeastern doubleheader on Feb. 29, the club announced.

The Red Sox will play 17 home games at JetBlue Park, starting with the Twins on  March 2. The Yankees visit on March 15 for one of the two night games on the home schedule. The Red Sox face the Yankees at Tampa on March 5.

As for the rest of the slate, it includes four games each against the Orioles, Rays, and Blue Jays. The final two exhibition games against the Jays will take place in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on April 1 and 2.

The equipment truck departs on Feb. 10 and the first workout is scheduled for Feb. 19. The first full-squad workout will be held on Feb. 24. Workouts are free and open to the public, and the club will hold an open house at JetBlue Park on Feb. 27.


Red Sox exercise option on Clay Buchholz for 2016

11.03.15 at 12:54 pm ET
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Clay Buchholz will be back with the Red Sox in 2016.

As expected, the Red Sox announced they’ve exercised their option on the right-handed pitcher for next season. They had until Wednesday to do so.

Buchholz will be paid $13 million for the upcoming season, which also keeps his $13.5 million team option for 2017 in play as well. If the Red Sox didn’t pick up his 2016 team option he would have become a free agent.

The right-hander is 31 years old and is entering his 10th season in the league. Buchholz suffered a strained right flexor tendon in his July 10 start against the Yankees and didn’t pitch again the rest of the season. He did throw a bullpen at the end of the season and felt completely healthy.

He’s the longest-tenured member of the Red Sox pitching staff.

(For more offseason baseball banter, tune into the WEEI Sports Radio Network for the Hot Stove Show, Tuesday at 9 p.m.)

For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Clay Buchholz,

Hot Stove live chat: Talk Red Sox (and other things) with Rob Bradford, noon

11.03.15 at 7:39 am ET
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As you get ready for the first “Hot Stove Show” of the offseason — airing on the WEEI Sports Radio Network Tuesday night at 9 — use your lunch hour to talk some baseball with Rob Bradford. The chat kicks off at noon, so get your questions in now …

Live Blog Hot Stove live chat, noon

Read More: Hot Stove, Red Sox,

One oddsmaker isn’t quite sold on Red Sox’ chances in 2016

11.02.15 at 1:57 pm ET
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One oddsmaker's optimism regarding the 2016 Red Sox is still somewhat tempered. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

One oddsmaker’s optimism regarding the 2016 Red Sox is still somewhat tempered. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Now that the 2015 season is officially in the rear-view mirror, we can focus our attention on ’16. And there’s no better way to turn that page than to dial up the oddsmakers.

In this case, the prognosticator is Bovada, which offers odds for every major league team to win the World Series next season.

Why the Red Sox aren’t in the lower tier of teams, they certainly aren’t being lumped in among the favorites, sitting at 20-to-1 along with the likes of the Indians, Tigers, Angels and Giants.

The Yankees sit just slightly ahead of the Sox at 18-to-1, with the Cubs standing as the favorites at 11-to-1.

Here are all the odds:

Chicago Cubs: 11/1
Kansas City Royals: 12/1
Los Angeles Dodgers: 12/1
New York Mets: 12/1
St. Louis Cardinals: 12/1
Toronto Blue Jays: 12/1
Washington Nationals: 12/1
Houston Astros: 14/1
Pittsburgh Pirates: 14/1
Texas Rangers: 14/1
New York Yankees: 18/1
Boston Red Sox: 20/1
Cleveland Indians: 20/1
Detroit Tigers: 20/1
Los Angeles Angels: 20/1
San Francisco Giants: 20/1
Seattle Mariners: 25/1
Tampa Bay Rays: 33/1
Baltimore Orioles: 40/1
Minnesota Twins: 40/1
Arizona Diamondbacks: 50/1
Chicago White Sox: 50/1
Cincinnati Reds: 50/1
Miami Marlins: 50/1
Milwaukee Brewers: 50/1
Oakland Athletics: 50/1
San Diego Padres: 50/1
Atlanta Braves: 100/1
Colorado Rockies: 100/1
Philadelphia Phillies: 200/1

Read More: cubs, Red Sox, world series,

Who will predict they’re winning Cy Young Award this time? Red Sox announce ‘Baseball Winter Weekend’

11.02.15 at 1:24 pm ET
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Joe Kelly joined WEEI to announce he was winning the American League Cy Young during last year's 'Baseball Winter Weekend' (WEEI Twitter account)

Joe Kelly joined WEEI to announce he was winning the American League Cy Young during last year’s ‘Baseball Winter Weekend’ (WEEI Twitter account)

Despite a sizable snowstorm, the Red Sox first go-round at putting on a “Baseball Winter Weekend” at Foxwoods appeared to be a rousing success. Virtually the entire team was in attendance, with thousands of fans converging on the two-day event.

So, Monday they announced they’re doing it again.

The dates this year will be Jan. 22-24, with the weekend including a Town Hall Meeting with Red Sox brass, autographs and photos with Red Sox players and roundtable discussions on a variety of baseball topics. There will also be a full baseball festival for fans of all ages and clinics for kids.

Weekend passes, which include the option for hotel accommodations, go on sale Thursday, November 5, at noon on redsox.com/winterweekend. Passes provide access for all three days and are $60 per adult and $20 for children 14 and under. Children under three are free. Season Ticket Holders’€™ prices (for adults) are reduced by $10. Their children’€™s price is $15.

Of course, one of the most memorable instances from last year’s event came during an interview conducted on WEEI when Joe Kelly predicted he would win the American League Cy Young Award. (In the same interview, Pablo Sandoval also predicted he would hit 10 home runs. He finished with 10, exactly.)

Here is the interview …

Read More: Joe Kelly, Pablo Sandval, Red Sox,

Joe Kelly can sympathize what it’s like to be victimized by Christian Colon

11.02.15 at 12:44 pm ET
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Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly

Joe Kelly felt Addison Reed’€™s pain, or least a semblance of it.

Sitting at his new Southern California home, the Red Sox pitcher eyed that the 12th inning of Sunday night’€™s World Series game with an idea of what might transpire when Kansas City’€™s Christian Colon stepped to the plate against Reed, the Mets reliever.

The result, of course, was the game-winning RBI single from Colon, helping hand the Royals the world championship.

Kelly, as it turned out, not only had also fallen victim to late-inning clutch hit by Christian Colon when both were college rivals, but the former Cal State Riverside closer also had ties to Reed. Kelly’€™s wife grew up with the pitcher, with the two having attended the same schools.

“[Colon] went back-to-back on me with [Milwuakee’€™s] Khris Davis,” said Kelly, recalling a 2009 game attempted to close out against Colon’€™s Cal State Fullerton team. “I think that might have been the only hits they ever got off of me.

“I also know Addison, and I knew he couldn’€™t throw too many of the same pitches in a row to Christian. I was like, ‘If he throws him one more slider he’€™s going to hit it.’ He hung one to many and he made him pay.”

Reed, in fact, threw Colon five straight sliders before the infielder plated Jarrod Dyson to give the Royals a lead they would never relinquish.

Considering the familiarity Kelly had with Colon — in college, working out at the same facility in the offseason, and even getting together in the annual Wiffleball tournament the pair participates in ‘€“ the Red Sox hurler wasn’€™t surprised with the outcome.

“He’€™s a first-rounder (4th overall in 2010), but he never really got a chance to start or play,” Kelly said. “But he would put up crazy numbers if he got the chance.”

Read More: Addison Reed, Christian Colon, Joe Kelly,

With World Series in books, decision time starts for Red Sox, rest of MLB

11.02.15 at 8:26 am ET
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The offseason has officially begun.

With Kansas City GM Dayton Moore now slated to get the congratulatory handshakes at next week’s general managers meeting, front offices throughout Major League Baseball are lining up by the phones ready to kick off their Hot Stove season.

For the Red Sox, one of their first decisions will have to be made within the next three days. That would be whether or not to exercise the $13 million option for Clay Buchholz‘s 2016 season. (That would be three days after the final World Series game, which is Wednesday.)

The Sox seem certain to pick up the team option — keeping Buchholz’s $13.5 million team option for 2017 in play — but it’s nice to know when that might become official.

While we’re waiting for the Buchholz news, Monday marks the day eligible players can file for free agency. For the first five days of the process, however, those candidates can only sign with their 2015 club.

The Red Sox aren’t flush with free agents this time around, with Craig Breslow and Rich Hill highlighting the list.

Another deadline looming five days after the final World Series game is the opportunity for teams to extend the $15.8 million qualifying offer to their prospective free agents. Those players afforded the one-year deal then have until 12 days following the World Series to make a determination if they are going to accept.

In three offseasons under the qualifying offer system, none of the 34 players offered the QO have decided to accept the proposal.

While the Red Sox don’t have to worry about offering any of their own players the one-year contract, they will be keeping a close eye on which prospective free agents are getting tagged with such a designation. (For more on the Red Sox’ decision regarding whether or not to sign qualifying offer free agents and sacrifice the No. 12 pick in the draft, click here.)

Some interesting names seemingly on the bubble starters Brett Anderson, Jeff Samardzija, Marco Estrada, and Doug Fister (who doesn’t seem likely to get a QO).

Some other dates to keep in eye on: 1. Teams need to set their 40-man rosters by Nov. 20, defining which players will be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft; 2. Teams need to determine who they are going to tender contracts to. Last offseason, for example, Texas chose not to offer Alexi Ogando a contract, allowing the Red Sox to sign him as a free agent.

(For more offseason baseball banter, tune into the WEEI Sports Radio Network for the Hot Stove Show, Tuesday at 9 p.m.)

Read More: free agency, Hot Stove, Red Sox,

Mets manager Terry Collins helps hand Royals world championship

11.02.15 at 12:34 am ET
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The Royals are World Series champs.

Christian Colon’s 12th-inning, one-out single scored Jarrod Dyson for the game-winning run, ultimately giving Kansas City a 7-2 win over the Mets and its first world championship since 1985. It opened the door for what resulted in a five-run inning for KC.

But what will be remembered from the World Series’ decisive Game 5 isn’t Dyson scoring, or even Eric Hosmer’s game-tying, dramatic race home in the ninth on Salvador Perez’s broken bat grounder to third.

It will be Mets manager Terry Collins.

Collins fell victim to one of any manager’s worst nightmares: he let a player talk him out of his initial decision, only to watch the choice backfire in a big way. In this case, the biggest way.

With the Mets carrying a 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, and Matt Harvey having dominated throughout his eight innings, Collins sent Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen over to tell the New York starter his night was done.

But Harvey, who was at 216 innings for his season, had other ideas.

Having thrown 102 pitches, Harvey left his conversation with Warthen and stormed over to Collins to make his case to stay in the game. He offered won the argument, remaining in for the ninth.

It was the wrong decision.

First, Harvey walked Lorenzo Cain on seven pitches. Collins still left his starter in the game. After a steal of second, Cain came around on Hosmer’s double, finally ending the pitcher’s night.

After moving to third on a Mike Moustakas ground out, Hosmer would knot the game up by racing home after Mets third baseman David Wright threw Perez’ slow roller to first. The throw from first baseman Lucas Duda would be wild, while Hosmer dove in head-first.

It would be three more innings before sealing the deal, but the storyline had seemingly already been written.

The Collins decision is made worse because it wasn’t his initial instinct. He didn’t stand firm by his first instinct, letting the emotion of a player drive the bus. And then the managing of the inning got worse when Harvey wasn’t lifted after that first batter reached.

It’s why some managers — such as Terry Francona — won’t go to the mound unless he is definitely taking out his pitcher. The manager can’t leave any door open for debate.

Collins did, and it allowed the Royals to sprint into a World Series title.

Red Sox prospect Brian Johnson escapes carjacking

10.30.15 at 4:17 pm ET
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Brian Johnson

Brian Johnson

Early Friday morning, recovering from his elbow ailment was the least of Brian Johnson’s concerns.

According to FloridaToday.com, the Red Sox pitching prospect escaped a carjacking incident in Cocoa Beach, Fla. without injury. Both Johnson and the driver of the car were reportedly approached in the parking lot of a convenience store at around 2 a.m.

The report states that Johnson was approached by a man later identified as 31-year-old Jonathan Oshaun Gould, who fired a round at the ground with the pitcher still in the car.

Gould would be arrested a short time after the incident and charged with carjacking, aggravated assault, persons engaged in a criminal offense having weapons, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon and violation of felony probation.

Johnson had been in Fort Myers for the final month of the regular season, and the early portion of Oct., rehabbing his injured left elbow. He had returned to his hometown of Cocoa Beach, telling WEEI.com shortly after the regular season that he expected to be ready for spring training without limitations.

Click here for Johnson discussing his recovery from the elbow injury.

Read More: brian johnson, Red Sox,

Why you shouldn’t dismiss Alex Gordon to Red Sox rumor

10.30.15 at 8:30 am ET
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On the surface, it doesn’t look like a fit.

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski insinuated after the season he was pleased with his complement of position players, leaving the offseason plans focusing on finding a top of the rotation picture.

But a couple of days ago, in the New York Post, a report surfaced that one potential free agent hitter — Kansas City’s Alex Gordon — might be a target for the Red Sox.

Writes Joel Sherman …

“The Red Sox’€™s main priority is a top-of-the-rotation starter ‘€” perhaps even going for David Price ‘€” and so that is where they are expected to put their big money this offseason. In addition, Gordon’€™s defensive skills would be a bit of a waste in the small left field at Fenway, unless he was moved to right.

“But those executives who expressed Boston could play for Gordon offered a scenario in which the Red Sox find their starter on the trade market and use outfielders to get it. One scenario presented was that if Boston officials think Jackie Bradley Jr.’€™s strong finish inflated his value beyond his actual skill, this may be the best time to maximize dealing a young, defensive-star outfielder.”

I believe all of this could be true, particularly since the Red Sox’ interest in Gordon has been very real. (Note: In order to hit free agency, the outfielder would have to opt-out of his $12.5 million player option for 2016.)

The 31-year-old outfielder had been highlighted by some in the organization for a few years now as someone who would thrive in Fenway Park. When the notion led to more research by the analytics folks (i.e. Bill James, Tom Tippett), such a hypothesis was reinforced.

Even without getting into next-level analytics, there is a pretty good hint that Gordon — a premier defender, a notion highlighted by the Boston Globe’s Alex Speier — likes hitting in Fenway Park.

The lefty hitter carries a lifetime .375 batting average and 1.057 OPS in 21 games, with 14 of his 30 hits going for extra bases.

Such a free agent signing would be somewhat risky considering Gordon’s age (he turns 32 in February) and good but not great regular season offensive production. Since emerging as an everyday player in 2011, Gordon has hit .281 with an .809 OPS, with his best year coming in ’11 (.879 OPS).

But there is that defensive prowess, the likes of which would keep the Red Sox’ outfield as one of the best defensive groups in the majors even with if the likes of Bradley Jr. is dealt.

This we know, in the inner-circle of the Red Sox, the idea of Gordon has at least been considered.

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