Farrell weighs in on remaining tasks for Red Sox

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Farrell weighs in on remaining tasks for Red Sox

BOSTON Before a charity event at Fenway Park Friday night, new Red Sox manager John Farrell spoke about several of the items on his to do list between now and spring training.

One of his priorities:

It will be to work through the pending World Baseball Classic situations, what players are still on the provisional rosters. Those provisional rosters are going to come out here in the next four, five days, and then to understand whos going to be in camp and whos not. Because this is a critical spring training for us with the number of new players. Pretty much a complete and new coaching staff. So weve got to gain a lot of familiarity with one another. Theres some history. Theres a lot of work to be done in terms of getting to understand the individual strengths of each players.

On who his first baseman is:

Well, Mauro Gomez is on our roster right now. Obviously, Mark Hamilton is a young guy that weve signed. But were all well aware of the situation with free agent Mark Napoli thats still being worked through. I know general manager Ben Cherington is doing whatever he possibly can so that when we report to spring training weve got that position answered.

Its understood. This isnt a major surprise at this point. I have the utmost confidence that that question will be answered in due time. Were working through it.

Farrell and his staff met at the Sox spring training complex in Fort Myers in December to familiarize themselves with the park, which is new to most of the staff:

As a staff we met in early December just to get familiar with the facility. In talking with people after they went through it for one full year there was some bugs to be worked out in the daily schedule. So we had a chance to go down, not only walk through the internal part of the facility but to get to the layout, the amount of space that needs to be covered. So hopefully we can keep our daily schedule as efficient and as tight as possible.

Ive been there as opposition but never saw the inner workings and whats available. But compared to where they moved from: state of the art facility. Its a tremendous place.

If hes talked with everybody he feels he needs to talk to at this point in the offseason:

I dont think youre ever done having conversations, whether it's the acquisition of a player that affects another guys situation, that youre always being clear and communicating what the vision is going into spring training, whether or not our rosters completely built at this point, which probably isnt likely. So theres still those initial contacts to be made with those players yet to be joining us. But again, I dont think youre ever done being in touch with given players.

If he is comfortable with his roster and familiar with his players:

A familiarity, yes. To get to knowing them fully, well take advantage of spring training as best we can. Again like I said, ultimately what players go and participate in the WBC that could take away from that a little bit, if its a player that signed here during the offseason or a trade. Well get a better handle on that probably over the next 7-10 days. But as far as the overall roster, I like what we have now. Certainly on paper, not only are they a talented group but its a group that has shown and has a very strong history to be solid team players and ones that have had success and have won.

If players have committed to the WBC:

No not fully yet. The first step is the provisional rosters and then you start to get some feedback from MLB on whos likely or potentially to be on that roster. We dont have complete clarity to that yet. And I dont know that any team or any country has really solidified their rosters.
If there are advantages to players participating in the WBC:

The thing about it is youre hopefully, whatever player participates theyre getting the appropriate number of at-bats, the number of innings, the progression is what you typically go through in a normal spring training. However, theres a competitive element that gets thrown in the mix in March that is probably a little bit more than a normal spring training would hold. But the benefits that it has to grow the game worldwide, its a very popular thing at MLB.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.