Buchholz continues to progress; Bedard hurting

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Buchholz continues to progress; Bedard hurting

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com Red Sox Insider Follow @sean_mcadam
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Even with the news that both Kevin Youkilis (hip) and Erik Bedard (lat strain) had returned to Boston to have injuries further examined, the news wasn't all bad for the Red Sox Friday.

Pitcher Clay Buchholz, sidelined since June with a stress fracture in his lower back, had what manager Terry Francona labeled "a really good day,'' in his comeback effort.

Buchholz threw from a distance of 120 feet, the longest distance from which he's thrown.

"He ended up with 70 throws,'' said Francona. "Very aggressive. The last 10 were on flat ground. He'll back off a little (Saturday) then we'll kind of put a program together for the last couple of weeks (of the season).

"We've got to sit down with Curt (Young, pitching coach) and Mike (Reinold, head trainer) and see what that is. But he really had a good day. It's encouraging when he gets out that far and he still feels better and better.''

Sometime next week, Buchholz should be able to start throwing off a mound in spikes and that will be the toughest test yet for his ailing back.

While the Red Sox are doubtful that Buchholz will have sufficient time to build up his arm strength enough to start again this year, they're holding out hope that he might be available to contribute out of the bullpen.

For a team seeking for a solution to its seventh-inning woes, Buchholz could have a role ready-made for him -- assuming he continues to progress and doesn't experience any setbacks.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Report: Red Sox DH target Beltran agrees to 1-year deal with Astros

Carlos Beltran, the 39-year-old switch hitter who was a potential target of the Red Sox as a DH, agreed to a free-agent deal with the Houston Astros, ESPN's Buster Olney reported.

FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal reports that it's a one-year, $16 million deal. 

Beltran played for the Astros in 2004. He was dealt from the New York Yankees to the Texas Rangers at the July 31 trading deadline last season. He totaled 35 homers, 101 RBI and hit .295 in 2016. 

The Red Sox, looking to fill the void left by David Ortiz's retirement, will be looking for a DH at the Winter Meetings that begin next week. One possibility is the return of Mike Napoli, who played for the A.L. champion Cleveland Indians last season.

More on the Winter Meetings here from CSN Red Sox Insider Sean McAdam.