The Boston Red Sox appeared willing to part ways with their captain by not offering him arbitration last week, but according to NESN Red Sox analyst Peter Gammons, the two sides are “close” to working out a deal.
“Jason Varitek close to returning to Boston for $2 [million] plus $300,000 in incentives,” Gammons reported via Twitter on Thursday.
The catcher played in just 39 games last year, partially because he was Victor Martinez‘s backup and partially because of a broken foot that kept him off the field for the entirety of July and August. He hit .232, representing the first time he bettered his previous season’s batting average since 2007.
While the team has expressed confidence in Jarrod Saltalamacchia as its starting catcher, having Varitek around as a mentor and part-time contributor is obviously valued by the organization.
“[It’s] important for Varitek to be [with young catchers] Saltalamacchia, [Ryan] Lavarnway, [Dan] Butler in spring,” Gammons wrote.