How much can you really gather from spring training, while the players are working themselves into shape and the games don't count?
Maybe not much. But in the case of Jonathan Papelbon, who turned in the worst season of his career last year, an impressive spring would have gone a long way to silence his doubters.
Instead, he spent the last month battling inconsistency and a subpar fastball, and the questions still linger: Will he be able to turn it on once the games start to mean something?
Sean McAdam and Lou Merloni answer.
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.