The Red Sox have agreed to a three-year contract extension with catching instructor/game-planning coordinator Jason Varitek, his wife Catherine announced this morning (Twitter link). Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports that Varitek will return in the same capacity for 2023; more broadly, Speier notes the entire coaching staff is expected back next season.
That’s not especially surprising, as manager Alex Cora announced immediately after the season ended he hoped to retain his staff. It seemed the biggest question was whether bench coach Will Venable might depart for greener pastures. Venable has long been viewed as a viable managerial candidate, and he indeed drew some attention for the Royals job that eventually went to former Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro. With all the managerial vacancies now filled and no anticipated further turnover this offseason — Astros skipper Dusty Baker is on an expiring contract but expected to re-sign with Houston — Venable seems headed for a third season as bench coach.
Varitek, a 15-year MLB veteran who spent his entire big league career in Boston, was a three-time All-Star during his playing days. He retired after the 2011 campaign but has remained in the organization in various non-playing capacities. That includes his time on the coaching staff as game planning coordinator, which he first assumed over the 2020-21 offseason.
It’ll be Cora’s third consecutive season managing in Boston and his fifth overall. Aside from Venable, his top returning staffers will be second-year hitting coach Peter Fatse and fourth-year pitching coach Dave Bush.