By Sean McAdam
BOSTON -- For months, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner has been mentioned in baseball circles as a potential buyer of the Los Angeles Dodgers should the franchise be put up for sale as a result of the messy divorce between current owners Frank and Jamie McCourt.
But Werner, who still owns a home in southern California and splits his time between the L.A. area and Boston, insisted Tuesday that he won't be a bidder.
"I'm not interested in exploring that posibility," said Werner before leaving for London. "I'm having a great time in my role here."
Before partnering with John Henry in 2002 to purchase the Red Sox from the Yawkey Estate, Werner owned the San Diego Padres in the 1990s.
Werner is close with commissioner Bud Selig. Asked at the World Series if he would like to see Werner involved should the Dodgers be auctioned off, Selig first emphasized that any speculation about a franchise transfer was premature. He then smiled and said: "But I like Tom a great deal."
Werner, however, has enjoyed his time in Boston, where, given his extensive TV background, he also oversees the running of NESN. Further, Werner has been heavily involved in Fenway Sports Group's purchase of the Liverpool soccer team, which he termed "a new and exciting challenge."
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Pablo Sandoval hit his fourth home run of the spring and Rusney Castillo had three hits to lead a Red Sox split squad to a 7-5 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Sandoval, who has won back his third base job after missing nearly all of last season following surgery on his left shoulder, connected for a three-run shot, batting right-handed, against Rays starter Ian Snell in the fifth inning. The switch-hitting Sandoval had abandoned hitting right-handed in 2015, his last full season with the Red Sox.
He's hitting .353 this spring with a 1.051 OPS and 19 RBI.
Castillo, the Cuban outfielder signed to a seven-year, $72 million deal late in 2014 but again likely headed for Triple-A Pawtucket, went 3-for-4 and is hitting .368 this spring. Catcher Blake Swihart, also probably Pawtucket-bound, had two hits and is hitting .325.
Kyle Kendrick strengthened his bid for a spot in the rotation by allowing two runs in six innings and striking out six and Jackie Bradley homered as a Red Sox split squad played to a 3-3 tie with the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla.
Kendrick, 32, a non-roster invitee to spring training, allowed eight hits and a walk in his sixth start this spring. He's been the Red Sox best starter with an ERA of 2.17.
With David Price out until May and lefty Drew Pomeranz still a question mark, Kendrick could find his way into the rotation behind Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez.
Bradley went 2-for-3 with his third homer of the spring. He's hitting .244 in spring training games.
The Phillies pushed across the tying run in the ninth off lefty reliever Robby Scott, the first run he's allowed this spring in 10 innings.
The Minnesota Twins host the Red Sox on Sunday at 1:05 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers.