DALLAS -- For the last several years, the Red Sox consistently have spent more aggressively than any team in the majors save for the Yankees.

Former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez has filed papers to initiate his return to Major League Baseball and will have his 100-game suspension cut to 50 games, according to multiple reports.

The 39-year-old Ramirez, who started last season with the Rays, faced a 100-game suspension in April after violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. He already served a 50-game ban in 2009 with the Dodgers for a similar offense. Ramirez instead quit baseball.

Former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez, despite saying that he still has a desire to play, announced that he plans to officially retire from baseball.

There's a new watering hole in the middle of the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas -- the Gossip Bar, which (as it is described on the hotel web site) "serves the perfect mix of color and commentary."

Perfect. Welcome to the site of the 2011 Major League Baseball winter meetings.



According to multiple sources, the Red Sox have interest in free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, with the 36-year-old open to playing in Boston.

The acceptance by Kuroda to play with the Red Sox is a change of course from his stance during the non-waiver trade deadline, when the right-hander told the Dodgers he would block any deal by Los Angeles. The Red Sox had originally identified Kuroda as one of their top targets at the non-waiver trade deadline, along with Ubaldo Jimenez and Erik Bedard, before learning that the pitcher would be taking advantage of his no-trade clause.

David Ortiz and Bobby Valentine meet Friday night at Ortiz' charity golf tournament in Cap Cana, Dominican Republic. (Photo courtesy David Ortiz' Twitter account)New Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine flew to the Dominican Republic, where longtime Sox DH David Ortiz is hosting a golf tournament to raise funds for charity this weekend. Valentine first disclosed the trip during an interview with MLB Network Radio.

Dave Magadan confirmed to WEEI.com that he will return to the Red Sox as their hitting coach in 2012. Magadan, who has been the Sox' hitting coach since 2007, received a call from new manager Bobby Valentine late Friday morning offering him to stay on in the job. 

Speaking on the Mut & Merloni show, Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said that he has talked to Josh Beckett on more than one occasion this offseason and remains optimistic the pitcher will be in a good mindset heading into the 2012 season.

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, during an appearance on the Mut & Merloni show, said that while former Brewers hitting coach and new Cubs manager Dale Sveum emerged as an early front-runner in the Sox' managerial search, he did not believe that in the end the former Sox third base coach would have represented the right fit for the Sox.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman would like to see new Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine match him in a daredevil feat.

Cashman, who on Sunday will rappel down the side of a building in Stamford, Conn., as part of the city's "Heights of Lights" festival -- something that he will be doing for the second straight year -- suggested that he would like to see Stamford native Valentine join him in the undertaking next year.