FORT MYERS, Fla. — Spring training is all about new beginnings. Teams come together for the first time in the Florida sun with hopes of being better in 2017.

On Sunday, Clay Buchholz was reunited with his former teammates and coaches when the Boston Red Sox traveled to Clearwater, Florida, to face the Phillies. Boston traded Buchholz to Philadelphia during the winter, and the 32-year-old righty is learning a new spring routine for the first time in his career.

Buchholz ran into Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, the man who traded him away. He thanked Dombrowski and said he had nothing but good things to say about his time in Boston. He also said he realized that time had passed.

“Getting out of Boston was good for me,” Buchholz said. “This is a fresh start.”

The pitcher admitted Boston is a “tough place to pitch when things aren’t going well. You’re always expected to win. If you don’t, you’ll hear it.”

While most fans look at Buchholz as a disappointment in Boston, he won 81 games in his time with the Sox and was on two teams that won World Series. If anything, he was the victim of his own early success. Everything he did after his 2007 no-hitter and his All-Star seasons of 2010 and 2013 seemed to fall short of the expectations we had for him.

One of Buchholz’s new teammates, Daniel Nava, went 4 for 4 in a 6-5 walk-off win for Philadelphia. The Phillies are Nava’s fourth team since leaving Boston, where he helped the Red Sox win a World Series in 2013. Nava has battled knee injuries in recent years, and spent the winter losing a little weight to keep the wear and tear off those knees in Philadelphia.

The Red Sox have their own players looking for new beginnings. Pablo Sandoval spent last year on the sideline, and in the proverbial Boston doghouse. The once-beloved Kung Fu Panda arrived in camp this year slimmer and ready to go.

Sandoval doesn’t just look thinner. He looks more athletic. He had a terrific weekend in the field making several nice plays defensively, and began the week hitting .333 in Grapefruit League play. He is once again hitting from both sides of the plate – an important development for the Sox who need to balance out a right-hand heavy lineup.

“I think there’s some renewed confidence in his own abilities,” said Manager John Farrell. “He shows it that way and the aggressive nature he swings the bat. The range has improved with the body composition that he currently has. I see a guy back to the levels that he was prior to signing with the Red Sox.”

Those levels made him one of the most popular players on a San Francisco Giants team that won three World Series. Levels had dropped so badly that last spring Sandoval lost his job to Travis Shaw before undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.

Sometimes a player needs a change of scenery to hit the reset button on his career.

Being traded to Philadelphia might be just what Buchholz needs. Sandoval has three more years remaining on his contract with the Sox. He needs to rebuild that career in Boston.

He’s off to a fine start, quietly getting the job done in Florida. In three weeks he’ll be at Fenway Park and the attention will be even greater.

There have been plenty of fresh March starts that have wilted away under the bright lights of April.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.