Red Sox Decline Option on Jason Varitek


November 9, 2009

Red Sox Decline Option on Jason Varitek The future of Jason Varitek in a Red Sox jersey now rests in the catcher's hands.

That's because the Red Sox have elected not to exercise the one-year, $5 million option on Varitek.

That means that Varitek now has five days to decide if he wants to return to the Red Sox on his one-year, $3 million player option. That contract would also include up to $2 million in incentives, as he would earn $400,000 for starting 80 games, and another $400,000 for every 10 starts thereafter. With Victor Martinez back for another season though, it would take a significant injury to either Martinez or first baseman Kevin Youkilis for Varitek to start that many games.

When asked about his future plans during the Red Sox' ALDS with the Angels, Varitek did not divulge any information.

"Honestly, this isn?t the time for me to worry about me," he said in Anaheim. "I?m not equipped to answer that question now. I can?t entertain that right now, and I don?t think it?s fair to me or this team. Your level of how special this opportunity is goes well beyond anything personal."

Varitek, 37, 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.

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