3:37pm: Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that Varitek will discuss his option with agent Scott Boras today.
TUESDAY, 12:14pm: We haven't heard the official word on Varitek's decision, but the news could still come later today. To clear up any confusion, MLBTR's story yesterday that Varitek had exercised his option was a misinterpretation of Adam Hirshfield's NESN.com report. There has been no official report that Varitek will return to Boston.
MONDAY, 9:43pm: Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe writes on his Twitter feed, "Contrary to a report, Theo Epstein just said that Jason Varitek has not yet picked up his option. That could come tomorrow, however."
9:28pm: Or has he? Ken Rosenthal at Foxsports.com acknowledges the NESN report, but adds "one source said that Varitek has yet to make a final decision."
7:23pm: Jason Varitek is expected to exercise his $3MM player option and return to Boston in 2010, according to Adam Hirshfield of NESN.com. This news comes shortly after the Red Sox declined Varitek's $5MM team option.
The news comes after the Red Sox made it clear that they plan on using Victor Martinez as their everday catcher in 2010, and speaks also to the expected difficulties many players may have getting a bigger payday.
For Varitek, more importantly, the days where he is an asset as a starting catcher may be gone. He posted a .703 OPS in 2009, and really wore down after a strong start. His first-half OPS was .826, while his second-half OPS was .489, or 161 points lower than the career mark of Mike Hampton.
1:36pm: According to WEEI.com's Rob Bradford, the Red Sox will not pick up Jason Varitek's $5MM option for 2010. Varitek now has five days to decide on the $3MM player option portion of the contract. He could also earn another $2MM in incentives based on games started next season.
The 37-year-old team captain hit just .209/.313/.390 in 425 plate appearances in 2009, losing his starting catcher's job to Victor Martinez late in the season and in the playoffs.