With two World Series titles apiece, and having always been regarded as two of the classiest individuals to ever wear the uniform, it's hard to dispute their place in the history of the storied franchise.
But with the team making some changes heading into the 2012 season, will Varitek and Wakefield give it one more go-round?
As it currently stands, it doesn't look like there's a clear role for either veteran on the roster. The Red Sox already have catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia firmly implanted in the starting lineup, and Kelly Shoppach also joined the team via free agency this offseason. Ryan Lavarnway could be in line to see some games behind the plate, as well, leading to some questions as to whether there's room on the roster for another backstop.
Varitek turns 40 on April 11, and is coming off a season in which he hit .221 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs in 222 at-bats over 68 games. His leadership, however, is unmatched, which could still hold value in an evolving clubhouse.
Wakefield, meanwhile, will turn 46 in August. In 2011, he went 7-8 with a 5.12 ERA in 33 games (23 starts) — a season capped off by his 200th career win. He may still provide value to the Sox given the question marks surrounding the back end of their rotation and the desire to have someone capable of providing innings out of the bullpen. It's unclear whether Wakefield will end up being the guy to fulfill either of those roles, though.
CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that both are expected to make a decision soon. And while he notes that each player is drawing interest from clubs other than the Red Sox, the decision is expected to come down to a return to Boston or retirement.
What do you expect to see happen with regards to the two well-respected veterans?
Powered by WordPress.com VIP