According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, via Twitter , Boston Red Sox C Jason Varitek has exercised his $3 million player option for 2010.
For Varitek, this move makes all the sense in the world. For the Red Sox, I am confident in saying they were hoping Varitek would either retire or decline the option and look for work somewhere else.
If he wanted to stay in baseball, Varitek really had no other choice but to exercise his option.
Varitek has been a great Red Sox player for the past 13 years. He has been the heart and soul of a team that has made the playoffs seven times in his 13 seasons.
But as we all know, Varitek has been a shell of his former self the last two years. He really can’t hit anymore on a consistent basis and his defense has slipped as well. No team was going to give him major-league deal, let alone $3 million dollars in 2010.
I don’t think we can fault Varitek for making his decision. Would you turn down $3 million if you believed you still have something to offer? I didn’t think so.
The Red Sox, and myself for that matter, probably wished Varitek didn’t think he had something to offer. The Red Sox are looking to get younger and Varitek is not helping the situation.
I think in a perfect world, the Red Sox would have liked Varitek to leave so they can bring back Kelly Shoppach via trade. Shoppach would have been a solid addition behind the plate and he would have allowed Victor Martinez to play first base on a more regular basis.
Shoppach was traded from the Red Sox to the Cleveland Indians in 2007 in the Coco Crisp trade and the Red Sox organization has always liked him.
Varitek will enter his 14th season as the Red Sox backup catcher. This will no doubt be his last in a Red Sox uniform.
When the captain retires, it will be the end of an era in Boston.
The Red Sox just wish that era would have ended this winter instead of next.
You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg