As NESN first reported on Monday, Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek will be back with the team in 2010 after officially exercising his player option on Wednesday.
Varitek, 37, played in 108 games for the Red Sox in 2009. Though Boston's captain struggled for much of the season at the plate, hitting .209 with 14 home runs and 51 RBIs, he led the American League with a 3.87 catcher ERA and ranked second among AL backstops with a .997 fielding percentage.
Despite not exercising their $5 million team option on Monday, the Red Sox are delighted to have the veteran back in the fray.
"We're happy to have Jason back, and we look forward to a good year from him in 2010," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein told The Boston Globe. "He means an awful lot to the organization on and off the field. He helps solidify our catching position also and is a big asset to the pitching staff."
Varitek came to Boston from Seattle on July 31, 1997. He has hit .259 with 175 home runs and 705 RBIs in 1,439 games over parts of 13 seasons with the Red Sox. Tek has been behind the plate in a club-record 1,381 contests and ranks among the franchise's all-time leaders in games played (ninth), doubles (eighth), home runs (12th), RBIs (15th) and walks (15th).