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 MLB.com's Peter Gammons adds that the deal has $300K in incentives.

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


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97 Comments on "Red Sox Re-Sign Jason Varitek"


flickadave
4 years 8 months ago

Awesome news! Welcome back, Captain!

GregStan
4 years 8 months 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.

Old22
4 years 8 months ago

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

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

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

Old22
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months ago

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

Coreno
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 7 months 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
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months ago

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

Old22
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months 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%

4 years 7 months ago

Tek did it in much less games, asinine comparison.

Guest
4 years 7 months ago

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

umair56
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months 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.

redsox4120
4 years 8 months ago

Yes, welcome back Captain Tek!!!

Brandon Woodworth
4 years 8 months ago

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

erm016
4 years 8 months ago

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

dc21892
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months ago

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

dc21892
4 years 8 months ago

I like that. Very well said, lol.

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

Except Wakefield lol

Infield Fly
4 years 8 months ago

Ah yes…but hey, that’s really Bob Uecker territory! 😀

woadude
4 years 8 months ago

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

4 years 8 months ago

Awesome! Wonder what happens to Martin now?

Quest2b1
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months ago

You will probably get your wish.

start_wearing_purple
4 years 8 months 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.

4 years 8 months ago

plus it gives salt….cia a great mentor

redsox4120
4 years 8 months ago

haha love your spelling of Saltalamacchia

darkhoarse820
4 years 8 months ago

Bet you Varitek gets traded over here for Martin.

start_wearing_purple
4 years 8 months ago

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

redsox4120
4 years 8 months ago

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

RahZid
4 years 8 months ago

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

thegrayrace
4 years 8 months ago

Can’t be traded until June, I believe.

4 years 8 months ago

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

TommyL
4 years 8 months 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.

4 years 8 months ago

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
4 years 8 months ago

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

YanksFanSince78
4 years 8 months ago

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

Coreno
4 years 8 months ago

i liked that. and i’m a sox fan.

bleedDODGERblue
4 years 8 months 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

ugotrpk3113
4 years 8 months ago

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

4 years 8 months ago

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

peterherman
4 years 8 months 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.

4 years 8 months ago

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

jgmaynard
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months 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.

4 years 8 months ago

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

soxfan0928
4 years 8 months 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!

nhsox
4 years 8 months 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….

bobbybaseball
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months ago

… compared to other backup catchers in MLB.

GoAwayNow
4 years 8 months 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
4 years 8 months 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.

Cody
4 years 8 months 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.

BoSoxSam
4 years 8 months 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.