Varitek Intends To Play In 2011

Jason Varitek told Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal that he intends to play in 2011. The catcher, who hits free agency after the season, missed July and August with a broken foot, but he says he wants to continue his career, partly because he feels fresher than usual.

The Marlins, Tigers and Dodgers are among the teams that could have interest in adding a free agent catcher this offseason, so Varitek should draw interest, even if the Red Sox don’t re-sign him. Varitek started the 2010 season on an offensive tear, so it seemed that agent Scott Boras could demand a two-year deal for the 38-year-old. But the .342/.419/.868 line Varitek had on May 13th soon faded; he has batted just .211/.258/.333 since. The sample size is tiny, because of Varitek’s injury and status as a bench player, but a two-year deal seems less likely now than it did after Varitek's hot start and before his injury.

20 Responses to Varitek Intends To Play In 2011 Leave a Reply

  1. hawkny1 5 years ago

    How about signing him as a player/coach….. ??? Places him on the 40-man roster and keeps him around to work with the younger catchers, and pitchers….

    • I think I remember him saying he doesn’t want to coach; at least not at this point in his career. I believe this was last off-season.

      Varitek is certainly one of those guys that’s far more valuable beyond his numbers show. I’d love for him to retire as a Red Sox, but if something doesn’t get worked out he’s going to add so much to any team that picks him up.

      He’s that guy who even when injured, is sitting right there at the foot of the dugout watching every pitch. He’s professional, doesn’t trash his teammates to the media, but probably puts the young ones in place when he sees something he doesn’t like. It’s unfortunate he’s had to battle his personal issues and injuries the past 3 or 4 years, but I think that just makes him an even stronger person.

      • hawkny1 5 years ago

        Not many 40-year old catchers around.  If he signs elsewhere, or, even returns to Boston,
        and plays more than 1-2 days a week he is gonna spend mucho time on the DL.  The mind may be willing but the body has a will of its own.
        Jason would be smart to take a coach-roster slot job, if offered, at, say, $500,000-$750,000, otherwise, he might be out of baseball entirely by the time ST rolls around.  What is left for him to do, sell used cars? He has never held a real job, even though he holds a degree from Georgia Tech (I think).  What a wake up call he is in store for.

        • johnsilver 5 years ago

          Not saying this about Varitek at all, but anytime see sports athletes with degrees think back to ex-NFL star Dexter Manley who some how managed to graduate from Oklahoma State, yet could not even read and write…

          • hawkny1 5 years ago

            Point well made.  You have excellent recall!

        • Based on the contracts that he has signed and how much he has made I don’t think he has to worry about another job. Unless he spends his money like Mike Tyson.

  2. Yeah…I always thought of him as Red Sox manager-in-waiting

  3. Prince_Fielders_Donuts 5 years ago

    Could be a good Mentor to Jon Lucroy. Cmon Brewers

    • invader3k 5 years ago

      I think we’ve seen enough of the old & expensive catchers. Lucroy/Kottaras is a fine catching battery.

    • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

      And I think Tek is a Sock for life.

  4. qbass187 5 years ago

    Why do we go through this the last few offseasons?
    He’ll be a RED SOX because he wants to be a RED SOX until he retires…even in a dimished role.
    This is Jason Varitek not Gabe Kapler or some other ham & egger. He’ll probably work out some deal similar to what Tim Wakefield had. The SOX love Tek’ and vice versa and with the fact that Lowell will be gone and Papi’s return is at least questionable; letting Tek’ walk over what will be very short $$$ is just silly when he has so much value to that team/clubhouse/pitching staff.

  5. nhsox 5 years ago

    It would be a sad day in Boston to see Varitek leave for another team. That isn’t to say it has any real bearing on where he ends up.

  6. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Varitek and Boras start talking 2 year deal and his Sox career is finished, also and kind of raise over 3M he just made and 1 year finishes his Sox career as well.

    Best he can hope for would be 3M with a 100% club option for the 2nd year at 3M, but he isn’t even worth nearly that much salary. Boston is better off hoping Boras can get to him and convince Tek he is worth some huge bounty on the market and con some team out of a 2 year guaranteed deal and who knows.. There are several gullible GM’s out there that we know of.

  7. This guy needs to retire now. We are talking about the guy who hasn’t been the same in a while, and has to wear a C on his jersey to know where to go on the field and that he is the captain.

  8. RahZid 5 years ago

    The Sox should offer him arb (as a type B FA). That would put him right around the $3M he made this year. If he takes it, great. If he really wants a 2 year deal, the Sox get a pick for him and they can say they made him a fair offer.

    • Bernaldo 5 years ago

      I can’t imagine the Red Sox offering him arbitration! Too much risk and too little payoff. Varitek will argue that his career numbers and leasership role on the team are the most important variables to be considered and that recent injuries should not be a factor in assessing his value. He may not win that argument – but he might – and the Red Sox cannot and do not want to take that risk and wind up paying top dollar for a player well past his prime.

      • RahZid 5 years ago

        And the Sox reference that Tek recorded fewer than 100AB’s this season (95), is no longer a starter, and in his last year as a start he posted a line of .209/.313/.390 with 51 RBA, 14 HR’s and 41 runs scored.

        Tek wouldn’t get any sizeable raise over his $3M salary from this season, and I think he would be worth it when looking at his small sample size of work as a back up + his knowledge of the pitching staff and great clubhouse presence..

  9. ZeroZeroZero 5 years ago

    Varitek is virtually valueless as a player. He cant hit and hes atrocious behind the plate. He is probably 2-3 years past his expiration date as a player. Anything you can say thats positive about keeping him around are intangibles. “Hes a good clubhouse guy…he calls a good game..he blah blah blah”. Bottom line is he cant hit anymore and he offers nothing on defense.
    Scott Boras badly read the market for washed up catchers last time Varitek was a free agent and he cost him money in the long run and it looks like hes going to do that again.
    I believe Varitek is still a type B though so the Sox can get a draft pick if they feel its worth the risk of offering Varitek arbitration.

  10. I dunno, I just don’t see Varitek leaving. Even at 39, I think he will be a perfectly cromulent back-up catcher. It’s no question that he is not the player he once was but I think we’re underestimating the value of a 2nd catcher. Quality catching is very hard to find, and a good back-up catcher is even harder. When you compare Varitek to his peers, he suddenly doesn’t look so bad.

    I hate to bring up intangibles as much as the next guy but Varitek is the rare player who is more valuable to his own team than he is anywhere else, kinda like Derek Jeter. Maybe he says he doesn’t want to be a coach but he seems to be an unofficial one anyway. He has been nothing but supportive since the additions of V-Mart and Salty and has been far more accepting of his diminished role than a player of his stature usually is. His intangibles, as subjective and unquantifiable as they may be, are far more real than a dude like David Eckstein or somebody.

    He will almost certainly be overpaid but the back-up catching market is just atrocious. I have no problem keeping him around for another year.

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