The Red Sox declined to exercise their $5 million team option on catcher Jason Varitek on Monday, but that doesn’t mean the longtime captain will be leaving Boston.
NESN learned on Monday night that the 37-year-old Varitek will exercise his $3 million player option for 2010 that includes up to another $2 million in incentives. The move is expected to be formalized on Tuesday and will keep Varitek with the Red Sox through at least the end of 2010.
With the incentives, Varitek would earn an additional $400,000 for starting 80 games in 2010 and another bonus for every 10 starts thereafter.
Varitek is a career .259 hitter. In 13 seasons with the Red Sox, he’s hit 175 home runs and driven in 705 RBIs. Last year, he batted .209 with 14 home runs and 51 RBIs. He was named the team’s captain in 2004, becoming just the third player since 1923 to hold that honor.