Xander Bogaerts is, for now, still the shortstop for the Red Sox


Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe hears from two Red Sox team sources that Xander Bogaerts is still viewed as the club’s shortstop. With Pablo Sandoval in the mix, this likely means that Hanley Ramirez is headed to left field. That means that Yoenis Cespedes is all but out of Boston; the only variable pertains to which team he is eventually traded.

Of course, the Red Sox could still explore trading Bogaerts. They have talked to the Phillies about a trade for starter Cole Hamels, and Bogaerts would certainly be a great starting point.

Bogaerts, 22, was the consensus #2 overall prospect according to Baseball America, MLB.com, and Baseball Prospectus entering the 2014 season. He struggled in his first full season, however, batting .240/.297/.362 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI in 594 plate appearances. Many believe Bogaerts has a better future as a third baseman as opposed to a shortstop.

Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN on opening day

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Roger Clemens will be an analyst for ESPN when the defending World Series champion Houston Astros host the Chicago White Sox on opening day.

Clemens made four appearances on last year’s KayRod Cast with Michael Kay and Alex Rodriguez. He will be stepping in on March 30 for David Cone, who will be doing the New York Yankees opener against the San Francisco Giants on YES Network.

“Roger has been sort of a friend of ours for the last year, so to speak, he’s in. He’s been engaged, knowledgeable and really present,” said ESPN Vice President of Production Phil Orlins. “You know, whatever past may be, he’s still tremendously engaged and he really brought that every time he was with us.”

Clemens was a seven-time Cy Young winner but his career after baseball has been tainted by allegations of performance-enhancing drug use. He is a Houston native and pitched for the Astros for three seasons.

Orlins said that with the rules changes and pitch clock, it is important to have a pitcher in the booth with Karl Ravech and Eduardo Perez.

“We don’t feel like we have to have the dynamic of Eduardo with a pitcher, but we certainly think that works. Throw in the added factor of rule changes and it is better to have a batter-pitcher perspective,” Orlins said.

Orlins did not say if this would open the door for future opportunities for Clemens as an ESPN analyst.