Red Sox name Jason Varitek special assistant to the GM

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The Red Sox officially welcomed Jason Varitek back to the fold Thursday, and his title comes as no surprise. He’ll serve as a special assistant to the general manager, the team announced.

GM Ben Cherington said Varitek will be involved in “personnel decisions, evaluations, and mentorship and instruction of young players.”

Varitek retired this spring after 15 seasons with the Red Sox. A three-time All-Star and two-time World Series winner, he hit .256/.341/.435 with 193 homers and 757 RBI in 1,546 games. He likely has a future as a manager if he wants it, but this lesser role will allow him to be in baseball and still spend plenty of time with his family.

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.