Red Sox Re-Sign Jason Varitek

The Red Sox have re-signed catcher Jason Varitek to a one-year deal, according to a team press release.  No contract details were mentioned by the club, but Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated reports that Varitek will earn $2MM next season (via Twitter).

Varitek, 39 in April, will return for a 15th season in Boston. Last year, the Red Sox captain appeared in just 39 games and he'll likely assume a backup role again in 2011, when Jarrod Saltalamacchia could become the regular Boston backstop.

Thanks in large part to a torrid start at the plate, Varitek finished the 2010 season with a strong .232/.293/.473 batting line. The former Silver Slugger winner belted seven homers in just 123 plate appearances, proving that he still has some pop.

Though Varitek struggled to limit opposing base stealers early in the season, he threw out nine of 43 would-be base stealers overall. That figure (21%) is below average, but significantly better than the 13% mark he posted in 2009.

Heyman was the first to break the news of the signing on December 2, and's Peter Gammons adds that the deal has $300K in incentives.

Ben Nicholson-Smith and Mark Polishuk contributed to this post.

97 Responses to Red Sox Re-Sign Jason Varitek Leave a Reply

  1. flickadave 5 years ago

    Awesome news! Welcome back, Captain!

    • GregStan 5 years ago

      Glad he is back and during 2011, he can learn the coaching job as well as back up duties. For 2012, he can become a coach and be with the Sox for a long time to come with his class and knowledge.

  2. Old22 5 years ago

    There goes the Russell Martin rumors… Varitek is a much better option for Boston anyway.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Russell can still draw a walk and throws out runners. Don’t see how Varitek is a better option.

      • Old22 5 years ago

        Martin is certainly younger, and can draw walks occasionally, but the throwing out runners part, I don’t think he too good at that. Veritek knows the Boston staff well, and that would be more important to them then trading for Martin at this point. If Martin was 100% healthy, and was actually throwing out runners, you might have a better argument. Even 40+ year old Ausmus had a more accurate arm last year behind the plate. Varitek is a better option for 2011.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          LOL dude he threw out 40 percent of runners last year, get a clue.

          • Coreno 5 years ago

            in Old22’s defense, he said accurate arm. looking at the numbers, he had 10 errors last year. i’m guessing many of those were throwing errors.

          • nepp 5 years ago

            You guess right…9 out of the 10 were throwing errors and he has 44 throwing errors in his career out of a total of 48 errors. So he averages just under 9 throwing errors a season. Ouch. Martin has a strong arm but its not accurate by any means.

          • Old22 5 years ago

            I happen to have a clue dude. If you look at the stats, or if you watched them live, you would realize that the 39% percentage includes all the runners that were picked off by league leading Clayton Kershaw in the 89 games that he started. As far as who he threw out, it aint even close, more like 15-20% He is not 100% healthy, and would cost the Sox probably twice as much. That is why you are not the GM of the RedSox. Get a clue dude.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            So just to clarify.. Clayton Kershaw picked off 10 plus runners when Martin was catching this year?

          • Old22 5 years ago

            I beleive Kershaw had 8 pickoffs in the 1st half of the season, and Martin Likely caught all of his 1st half starts. He benefitted from that for his best yearly percentage even though he started only 89 games, the lowest of his career. I did not miss too many Dodger games in 2010, and I can honestly say that of the 27 people he was given credit for throwing out in 2010, half of them were probably picked off of 1st. His throwing was bad, and his accuracy was even worse. My point is that his “thrown out” stat is very misleading, and that Varitek is a better option because he knows the Boston staff, he would be a willing backup, and he is a great team player. Martin’s broken hip socket recovery is not yet complete, and I do not expect him to be a better catcher in 2011 as a result. Martin wants to be a full time starter, and for at least the money he has been making in the past. For these reasons, I think Varitek is the best choice for the 2011 RedSox.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            7 of Kershaw’s pickoffs were with Martin behind the plate.

            But anyway, his caught stealing percentage, not counting pickoffs by the pitcher is 31%…
            Varitek’s was 19%,

            Yadier Molina had 44%
            Joe Mauer had 22%

          • Tek did it in much less games, asinine comparison.

          • Guest 5 years ago

            Okay… Varitek had thrown out 17% of runners (not counting pitcher pickoffs) since 2005… large enough sample? 632 games…

        • umair56 5 years ago

          Although Martin might be a better catcher, Varitek is a better fit for the Red Sox. Think about what his role will be with the Sox: He will be a backup, Salty is still learning and will only get support from Varitek, he knows the Sox pitchers, and he’s also a leader. Tek will be especially important if consider how many young arms the Red Sox have in important positions. Buchholz just came around, Lesters only known Tek, Bard, Miller and potentially any guys they call up. I don’t see how Martin can deliver any of these needs.

    • 0bsessions 5 years ago

      How so? Varitek’s only signed for $2 million. If the Sox can grab Martin off the scrap heap, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them do it and have Salty start the season in AAA. If Salty rebounds, cut one of Varitek or Martin loose.

      • Old22 5 years ago

        I understand what you are saying here, but you are proving my point. For only 2Mil they have a backup and occasional starter that knows there staff as well as anyone. Martin is going to cost more, even IF he ends up on the scrap heap. He is not 100% healthy, has little power, and his arm is below average. For 2011, the best backup choice is probably Varitek. He understands his role, and knows the staff. Martin would not want to be a backup.

  3. redsox4120 5 years ago

    Yes, welcome back Captain Tek!!!

  4. Brandon Woodworth 5 years ago

    Great news for Sox fans. Tek deserves to finish his career in Boston.

  5. erm016 5 years ago

    One of my favorite players, not even a die-hard Sox fan. Glad to see him back.

  6. dc21892 5 years ago

    I love this move by Boston. If Salty is going to carry the starting catching load he needs a guy like Tek to teach him things he doesn’t know yet.

    • Infield Fly 5 years ago

      Nothing beats ‘Tek support! The man really knows how to handle pitchers.

    • woadude 5 years ago

      like how to throw the ball back to the pitcher, very important.

  7. Awesome! Wonder what happens to Martin now?

    • Quest2b1 5 years ago

      Actually, I think this gives LAD a little leverage in working out a new deal with Martin, as Boston was one team I think willing to commit a higher base salary on a C coming off injury.

      • Old22 5 years ago

        Good Point. I think if Martin had any leverage it may be gone now with the signing of Varitek. I still think the Dodgers should sign Rod Barajas and trade Martin if there is anything out there to trade him for.

        • Guest 5 years ago

          Barajas’ OBP is 280.. I rather see Russell Martin never a home run again then see Rod make a out 80 percent of the time a year.

          • Old22 5 years ago

            You will probably get your wish.

  8. start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

    Hmmm guess they really are going to go with the Salty/Tek combo at catcher. I figured Theo was going to go hardcore after Napoli during the winter meetings.

    Now I really hope the Sox sign Crawford or Werth to upgrade the offense.

  9. plus it gives salt….cia a great mentor

  10. darkhoarse820 5 years ago

    Bet you Varitek gets traded over here for Martin.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Not sure if that was sarcasm… but in case it’s not, you can’t sign and trade players in baseball.

      • redsox4120 5 years ago

        I gave it a like in hopes it was sarcasm….

      • RahZid 5 years ago

        Technically you can sign and trade (see R. Soriano last season), but you would need player approval.

    • thegrayrace 5 years ago

      Can’t be traded until June, I believe.

    • I hope so. I can’t believe we signed him again.

    • TommyL 5 years ago

      Wrong. Ned says it will now be Martin for Salty. Boston needed to sign Varitek before they would do the deal given the injury risk.

  11. Was it for 4 years and $100 million because of the “intangibles”? Tek may have more range at SS than Jeter Christ these days.

    • rockfordone 5 years ago

      Love the Jeter Christ – Is that guy whaked. I hope the Yanks let him go.

    • YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

      Yeah but Bengie Molina could probably beat out a Tek throw from the SS hole.

  12. bleedDODGERblue 5 years ago

    Well there go the Martin to Boston, LA signing Varitek rumors.. wonder if this means news of Martin resigning with the Dodgers is coming soon

  13. ugotrpk3113 5 years ago

    That’s great and all, but he can’t throw anyone out to save his life… What is Salty’s reputation defensively?

    • In terms of throwing, he has a decent arm as long as he is throwing further than the pitcher’s mound.

    • peterherman 5 years ago

      He’s had less than 200 MLB games behind the dish. Had the yips for a spell. Hard to say what Salty will turn out to be as a catcher at this point.

    • Reportedly, the Sox catching instructor is working with Salty in the offseason in Florida. I think the fact that the Sox are going with the Salty/Tek combo means that the report from Tuck is a positive one

  14. jgmaynard 5 years ago

    This will likely be Tek’s last season, but there is no one better to train Salty for the Red Sox. Bienvenue à mon capitaine!

    • NomarGarciaparra 5 years ago

      Well if Tek excels in the backup role (like he did at the beginning of last season), he could very well stay in Boston for more than just next year…maybe 2-3 more years.

      • MaineSox 5 years ago

        3 might be a stretch but I could see him here through ’12 if he does as well next year as he did this year.

      • jgmaynard 5 years ago

        It is possible, which is why I said “likely,” and I’d love to see him stay through whatever he can do productively. Although, my wife has the hots for Tek, so that means I have to hear her swoon whenever he comes on for the next year. At LEAST Casey Fossum is gone! LOL.

        • NomarGarciaparra 5 years ago

          Yeah I’d like to see his retire in a Sox uniform. Next year, if the Sox doesn’t sign him, I think he’d consider going to another team…but I think if after 2012, if the Sox refuse to re-sign him, he’d retire rather than signing with another team.

  15. Tek the teacher…good deal. Salti needs someone to help him grow up a little bit.

  16. soxfan0928 5 years ago

    Salty just wet his pants. Can’t beat having Tek as a mentor, and having some confirmation that you’re going to be the starting catcher. Hope he can swing the stick!

  17. nhsox 5 years ago

    At 1 year and 2 million, there isn’t much to find objectionable about this signing. Surely Century will find something negative to say about it. I’ll stay tuned….

  18. bobbybaseball 5 years ago

    “a strong .232/.293/.473 batting line”? I agree on the slugging, but noone with a .293 OBP should ever be considered strong on offense.

    • Fangaffes 5 years ago

      … compared to other backup catchers in MLB.

      • GoAwayNow 5 years ago

        when our main catcher for a stretch last year hit .133/.224/.150, then that line is very strong. (referring to Kevin Cash).

    • Coreno 5 years ago

      for a catcher, an OPS of over .750 is pretty damn solid, sadly.

      … actually thats not bad for anyone. i retract the sadly. the .293 looks bad, but it shows how productive he was when he was actually hitting.

  19. Cody 5 years ago

    Tek hit very well last year when he had to only catch 2-3 days a week. Still has some power too. But when he catches full time it really go’s down hill hitting wise. Love this singing, I hope we can keep him as a coach when he retires he would be great at it.

  20. BoSoxSam 5 years ago

    Welcome back Captain! This is a tiny piece of news, but it still makes me feel warm and happy on the inside. Boston just won’t feel the same when he retires.

  21. The Captian of the Pink Hats is back….stoke up Sweet Caroline and get the wave ready….yuk!

    • wickedkevin 5 years ago

      Shouldn’t you be under a bridge somewhere?

      • RedSoxDynasty 5 years ago

        He would have to escape his mom’s basement first!

  22. DickAlmighty 5 years ago

    Old Man Tek and Salta-Knoblauch-ia? That is a horrendous defensive combo at C. Then again, catchers are more valuable as psychologists than they are as defenders: block plate; catch ball.

    Hopefully the Red Sox sign Crawford; otherwise, he’ll steal about 30 bases against Boston next season.

    • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

      Heh, maybe that’s the reason the Sox are going after Crawford.

      • wickedkevin 5 years ago

        Crawford is to the Sox as Lee is to the Yankees.

        I’ll never forget that Brad Penny game.

  23. wickedkevin 5 years ago

    Swing and a ground ball, stabbed by anyone. He has it. He underhands to first. And the Boston Red Sox have lost this one folks. For the first time in this 162 game season, the Red Sox have lost on a Varitek groundout. Can you believe it?

  24. Best news I’ve heard all day!

    • wickedkevin 5 years ago

      Stop watching Fox News then.

      • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

        Do they still try to pass themselves off as “fair and balanced?”

        • Guest 5 years ago

          Well considering its okay and legal for American News outlets to lie and actually not tell a shred of truth.. I don’t think that slogan is ever going anywhere.

          • start_wearing_purple 5 years ago

            And you just reminded me why I never watch the news… or pay attention to politicians.

  25. hawkny1 5 years ago

    They should add another $500,000 in bonus $$$ for Jason if Saltalamacchia responds positively to his tutoring…
    As for the risks associated with Salty being #1, they are no more so than TEE’s with Montero and Cervelli taking over the #1 catching duties for Posada in 2011…. perhaps less….


    • YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

      Hey Sox fans…I got this one for you.

      Tek is a back up catcher.

      Wake is a 6th starter at best.

      Lowell has retired unofficialy and won’t be a Sox 3B for sure.

      Having Tek and Wake doesn’t hurt the Sox

    • wickedkevin 5 years ago


    • woadude 5 years ago

      at least we re-signed our captain, hows your working out so far? what not for 2 million a year, well how much is your captain asking for?

      • flickadave 5 years ago

        And our captain has better range at short than Jeter does.

      • YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

        Funny thing is, I don’t think the guy is even a Yanks fan. I guess it’s a reflex, huh? Silly point to mention Jeter too but whatever.

        • woadude 5 years ago

          A captain is a captain, the Sox have there captain for a reasonable amount of money where as your captain wants an unreasonable amount of money. That was my base point there champ.

  27. AceGunderson 5 years ago

    I’m a Yanks fan, but good for him and the Red Sox. Always a gamer, no matter how much I might dislike him on the field. If Jeter has “intangibles,” this guy sure as hell does too. Lookin forward to another season of Tek being part of the rivalry.

    • slider32 5 years ago

      This is the mistake on the Sox part. He and Salty are a down grade at C. He was a gamer but asking a player who is your captain to pack it in is a hard thing to do. The Yanks will have to do the same thing with Posada next year. The only difference is that he is not their captain, and he can still hit.

      • YanksFanSince78 5 years ago

        I think Posada’s days as a C are over for the Yanks. At best he will come back after 2011 as a DH and that’s only if he has some sort of spectacular year (.285/.360 w/ 25 hrs). He is an ok C if he’s limited to 50 games but I think the Yanks are committed to some combo of Montero, Cervelli or ROmine catching from 2012 on.

    • hawkny1 5 years ago

      Red Sox ~ Yankees…best rivalry in professional sports… bar none..

      • Steve_in_MA 5 years ago

        Jets – Pats are pretty damned close.

        • hawkny1 5 years ago

          I cannot argue with your point, however, all of New England reacts to the intensity of a Sox/TEE series, especially if it occurs at Fenway….  I cannot recall that same type of experience when the Pats/Jets play..

        • RedSoxDynasty 5 years ago

          jets-pats would rank third in New England. Bruins-Canadiens actually is close though!

  28. woadude 5 years ago

    VTek is a great mentor and responded well to being a back up last season, Salty will be solid and I have said it before, but there is a prospect that was really solid in the Sox system that no one knew about until the AFL, it was Exposito and Wagner and which was better but if you ask me, Lavarnway looked awesome and will be a September or sooner call-up.

  29. Steve_in_MA 5 years ago

    I greatly favor picking up Olivo to this. I would also prefer to sign Navarro, who just got non-tendered, over re-signing Jason.

  30. bobbybaseball 5 years ago

    “a strong .232/.293/.473 batting line”. Really? I’m good with the slugging but since when is a .293 OBP considered “strong” even for a catcher?

  31. Brian Lowy 5 years ago

    in what way is this news?.

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