Bogar: Iglesias is 'going to continue to improve'

712544.jpg

Bogar: Iglesias is 'going to continue to improve'

FORT MYERS, Fla. In his first spring training in 2010 Jose Iglesias was just two months past his 20th birthday, less than a year since joining the Red Sox and setting foot in the U.S. for the first time. He was working to learn English but usually used a translator.

Now, in his third season with the Red Sox, the flashy shortstop is comfortable enough to make jokes in English. And feel like he has place on the team.

Bench coach Tim Bogar, the teams infield coach, has seen tremendous changes in Iglesias.

Hes three years older. I think hes more mature. I think thats going to continue to improve, said bench coach Tim Bogar. I think once hes around this major league atmosphere and these players and he starts to learn players and pitchers and understand how theyre gong to attack certain hitters its going to help him in his positioning. Its going to help him take that defensive flash that you see and make it become simpler because hes going to be playing in the right spots all the time. Hes going to be more confident in that and knowing where he should be."

Ive seen his confidence level though is completely different this year than it was last year, both sides of the ball. I think defensively hes always felt like he belongs here. But offensively this spring up to this point, he believes he belongs here offensively. and thats something I havent seen the last few years.

Is he ready to be a major league shortstop?

At this point he can. Theres a few things he just needs to get to know and hes going to get better and better. And once he knows the league and things that are going on with it, hes going to be a better shortstop. Now how that happens, just depends on the playing time and what goes on there. If he doesnt make this team and he has to go to Triple A, thats one of the emphasis Im sure hes going to want to do. Hes going to have to pay attention to those details.

While he plays a stellar defense, it has been his offense that has lagged behind.

Offensively I think its one of those things where hes still learning himself, Bogar said. Hes a young hitter. Hes still learning how to approach every at-bat, his game plan. Mechanically he looks a lot better this spring and I think hes hit the ball with more force all spring compared to last year and the year before. So, as I said, hes maturing and getting older. You can start seeing things happening. Its only going to go forward.

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

Grousbeck: Celtics want Thomas longterm, but would draft a point guard

The Celtics didn’t know when they traded a late first-round pick and Marcus Thornton for Isaiah Thomas that they were getting their next star player, but that 2015 trade deadline move has proven to be a pleasant surprise. 

Appearing on Felger and Mazz Friday, Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck said that he sees Thomas, who will be a free agent after next season, in the team’s longterm plans. 

“Every one of these seasons is different. It’s like a movie and you have a cast of characters and the cast changes a little bit every season,” Grousbeck said. “We’d love to have Isaiah here for a long, long time. He’s a phenomenal player and he loves being here.” 

The Celtics stand a strong chance of picking first overall in June’s draft since they own Brooklyn’s first-round pick. Asked whether Thomas’ status would prevent the team from taking a point guard (which the draft’s two prospects play), Grousbeck said the team doesn’t need to decide that now, but suggested it wouldn’t.

“Especially if it’s a very high pick in the draft, you’ve got to draft the best player,” Grousbeck said. “You probably wouldn’t draft for fit as much as just you see if there’s a transformational player that you can have for 10 or 15 years there. If you see a guy like that, you’ve got to make everything else work, I would think.” 

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

browns-collins-jamie-collins-012017x.jpg

It's official: Patriots nab third-round compensatory pick in Collins trade

The Patriots received a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 from the Browns in return for Jamie Collins. That's how the trade was described on the league's transaction wire. 

The "condition" of that fourth-rounder? Well, if the Browns received a third-round compensatory pick in 2017, the Patriots would nab that pick instead. 

On Friday, the NFL announced that the Browns had in fact been awarded a third-round compensatory pick, which meant that almost three full weeks after Super Bowl LI, everything was still coming up Patriots.

In actuality, the odds were pretty good all along that the Patriots would get what they got

Cleveland lost Pro Bowl center Alex Mack in free agency last offseason when he opted to sign with the Falcons. Because compensatory picks are based on free agents lost and free agents acquired, and because the Browns did not sign any similarly-impactful free agents, there was a good chance Mack's departure would render a third-round comp pick that would be shipped to New England.

Had Mack suffered a significant injury that forced his play to drop off or limited his time on the field, a third-rounder may have been out of the question, but he played well (named a Pro Bowler and a Second Team All-Pro) and stayed healthy -- lucky for the Patriots -- missing just 17 total snaps in the regular season. 

The Browns comp pick that will be sent to New England is No. 103 overall. The Patriots were also awarded a fifth-round comp pick, No. 185 overall. That was a result of the league weighing the departures of Akiem Hicks and Tavon Wilson against the arrival of Shea McClellin.

The Patriots now have nine selections in this year's draft: One first-rounder; one second-rounder; two third-rounders; one fourth-rounder*; two fifth-rounders; two seventh-rounders.

* The Patriots forfeited their highest fourth-round selection in this year's draft as part of their Deflategate punishment. They acquired a fourth-round pick from the Seahawks last year. Because that would have been the higher of their two selections, that's the one they'll lose. They will make their own fourth-round pick at No. 137 overall.