FORT MYERS, Fla. — About 50 minor league and major league players worked out at the brand new Jet Blue Park complex today, not far from fantasy campers who paid $4,500 a piece to play baseball with former players such as Trot Nixon, Rich Gedman, Brian Daubach, Bob Stanley, Oil Can Boyd, Jim Corsi, Butch Hobson, Al Bumbry, Dave Henderson, and others.
Sox executives Ben Cherington and Larry Lucchino were on hand to take a closer look at the facility, which is in the last stages of sprucing up to welcome pitchers and catchers on Feb. 19. Manager Bobby Valentine is expected on Sunday.
On other issues:
• The Red Sox still appear to be in the running for free agent righty Roy Oswalt. According to one major league source, the issue is no longer money, but geography. Oswalt evidently prefers the Midwest (St. Louis) or South (Texas). But if those scenarios don’t work out, the Red Sox would be an alternative. There are some back issues with Oswalt, but none severe enough to scare the Red Sox away.
• Cherington said the team would have some sort of definitive resolution on veterans Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield by next week.
• Cherington indicated that the team is still preparing its arbitration case in preparation for a hearing with David Ortiz, which according to a major league source is scheduled for Monday. There’s still hope a deal can be struck before then.
• The Red Sox still feel the Theo Epstein compensation case will be decided sometime before the official start of spring training.
This and that: Bob Stanley was one of the campers. He’s now the Triple A (Las Vegas) pitching coach for the Toronto Blue Jays … Butch Hobson will manage the Lancaster, Pa., franchise of the Atlantic League this season … Andrew Miller threw a bullpen session earlier today … Jon Lester worked out but didn’t throw. Lester had told reporters he doesn’t plan to speak to the media until next week … Ryan Kalish is working out, but he can’t throw or hit for about a month. There’s still a June timetable for his return from neck/shoulder surgeries. “It’s been a long road, but I’m feeling a lot better,” Kalish said … Among some of the other players at the fantasy camp: Gary Allenson, Rick Miller, Frank Malzone, Dick Berardino, Bill Lee, Rick Wise, and Frank Viola.