Red Sox Offer Varitek Minor League Deal

5:31pm: Ben Cherington tells Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe (via Twitter) that the Red Sox have not made Varitek any kind of formal contract offer.

3:31pm: The Red Sox have offered Jason Varitek the chance to come to Spring Training and compete, but they aren’t offering the 39-year-old catcher a roster spot, Jon Heyman of reports. Varitek seems likely to choose between accepting his longtime team’s invitation and retiring. If he does report to Spring Training, he’ll do so with the knowledge that Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach are likely to break camp with the Red Sox.

Varitek, a Scott Boras client who earned $2MM in 2011, doesn’t appear to be seeking opportunities elsewhere, Heyman reports. The Red Sox would have interest in hiring Varitek for a non-playing role at some point, but it's not as though he's unable to produce at the Major League level. He posted a .221/.300/.423 line with 11 home runs in 250 plate appearances in 2011, though he stopped just 14% of stolen base attempts against him. "Our hope is that Tek will always be a part of the Red Sox in some way," GM Ben Cherington told reporters last month.

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