Battle for final roster spot continues for Red Sox

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Battle for final roster spot continues for Red Sox

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Three Red Sox role players are vying for the final roster spot on the 25-man roster, and Saturday, Bobby Valentine did everything he could to see each of the players at as many positions as possible.

Pedro Ciriaco moved from short to second to third, back to short, back to second, back to third and, finally, back to short again.

Nate Spears began the game at second, went to third, moved to short, back to second, back to third, at short once more and finished at first base.

Outfielder Jason Repko, meanwhile, got four at-bats while playing center field for most of the game.

"Actually, Jerry (Royster, third base coach) did the whole thing,'' said Valentine of the near-constant shifting. "We wanted to make it seem like they were going in for defense at a different position -- all that simulated stuff.

"They moved around nicely. Nate played good defense, Ciriaco, too, at some different places.''

The Sox may wait another day or more before making the final decision on the 25-man roster.

"Ben (Cherington's) going to get reports and ask around,'' said Valentine. "Ultimately, the roster will be collaborative. But it's Ben's decision. It's a good one his first spring, a tough one. It's not made for him -- or us, for that

Ciriaco was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a sacrifice. Spears was 0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI while Repko was 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Ciriaco is hitting an even .400 for the spring while Spears is at .295 with Repko at .262.

Valentine said the Red Sox will bring all three -- plus most of the players who got into Saturday's game -- to Washington for Tuesday's exhibition game with the Nationals.

The Sox must submit their 25-man Opening Day roster by 5 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday.

Jimmy Butler reportedly headed to Timberwolves in trade

Jimmy Butler reportedly headed to Timberwolves in trade

Regardless of whether Celtics fans wanted to see Jimmy Butler come to Boston, they don’t have to worry about it anymore. 

ESPN’s Marc Stein was the first to report Chicago was nearing a deal with Minnesota, with the Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson following up saying that a deal was agreed upon in principle.

The 30th pick in the 2011 draft, Butler had been linked to the Celtics in trade rumors in recent seasons. That can be put to bed for now. 

Celtics take Jayson Tatum at 3, could be closing in on Paul George trade

Celtics take Jayson Tatum at 3, could be closing in on Paul George trade

When all was said and done, the Celtics kept the third overall pick and selected Duke small forward Jayson Tatum. 

Tatum, who stands at 6-foot-8 and 204 pounds, averaged 16.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in his lone college season. 

Whether Tatum actually stays in Boston may not yet be certain, as Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski reported as the C’s were making the pick that the team has entered “serious talks” with the Pacers for Paul George. The veteran small forward can become a free agent after next season and is believed to be targeting the Lakers in free agency.

Wojnarowski clarified shortly after that an agreement had not yet been reached. 

As expected, the 76ers took Washington point guard Markelle Fultz at No. 1 and the Lakers took UCLA point guard Lonzo Ball second. The 76ers received the pick in a deal with Boston that was made official on Monday.