Red Sox may be nearing an extension with Cody Ross

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reported last Sunday that the Red Sox were “very interested” in re-signing impending free agent outfielder Cody Ross.

And now it seems that progress has been made.

According to beat writer Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston, the Red Sox have informed Ross directly that they want him back and a contract extension could be finalized before the end of the season.

Ross, 31, signed a bargain one-year, $3 million deal this past winter. He’s currently batting .276/.339/.520 with 19 home runs, 26 doubles and 63 RBI through 388 plate appearances.

Cafardo suggested last week that Ross could seek a contract in the area of three years and $21 million.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.