In case you missed it yesterday as you were preparing to watch what turned out to be the Patriots bonecrushing and entirely depressing loss to the New York Giants of East Rutherford, NJ in the Super Bowl…
According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, Scott Boras, speaking on behalf of Jason Varitek, says that the veteran catcher is still “deliberating what he wants to do,” with respect to his baseball career. Based on the reports I’ve read, he’s healthy and feels better than he has in quite some time. Despite this, Boras’s phone lines aren’t burning up with teams interested in acquiring his services.
While the Red Sox front office has reportedly stayed in contact with the Varitek camp, it mostly seems like it’s out of respect for the Captain. The Red Sox have already committed to the tandem of Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach at catcher to start the season, and the young power hitting Ryan Lavarnway will be eagerly waiting in the wings in Pawtucket. This gives Tek a snowball’s chance in hell of winning a job with the club out of Spring Training. Even with his subjectively superior game calling skills, it’d be virtually impossible to objectively justify giving him a roster spot over Lavarnway in a situation where one of the top two catchers lands on the disabled list to start the season.
Currently, there are few job openings available. The Rays, Twins, and Mets come to mind as possibilities, but they’re pretty remote. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a market for 40-year old catchers that can’t hit
lefties righties and have weak arms. Furthermore, with Ivan Rodriguez still available on the free agent market, Varitek will likely be most teams’ second option; thus making retirement likely.
Barring some major, earth shattering change, Tek has played his last game in a Red Sox uniform. was acquired in one of the greatest, most lopsided trading deadline deals in history, he (24.8 fWAR) and Derek Lowe (23.5 fWAR in Boston) were acquired from the Mariners in exchange for Heathcliff Slocumb (0.9 fWAR with the Mariners). He played his entire major league career in Boston, won two World Series titles, and held the title of “team captain” for seven seasons.