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Red Sox invite Varitek to camp; he's weighing it

Posted on: January 13, 2012 4:11 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 10:50 am

Respected longtime Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek has been invited by the team to come to camp as a non-roster player with only an outside chance to make the team, and Varitek seems likely to decide between accepting that invitation or retiring, people familiar with his situation said. Mostly out of respect for the iconic Varitek, they let him know the door is open, and they are giving him time to decide. Varitek, 39, who's played his entire big-league career in Boston starting with one at-bat in 1997 and helped them win two World Series, does not appear to be considering looking for a job elsewhere.

The Red Sox fairly have made clear to him that if he did come to camp, he'd serve mostly as "protection'' in the event one of their two catchers, Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Kelly Shoppach, is hurt. Ryan Lavarnway is seen as Boston's catcher of the future but is expected to start the year in Triple-A Pawtucket.

This is probably a tough call for Varitek, a great Red Sox who didn't have a bad year last year when he hit .221 with 11 home runs and 36 RBIs. Interestingly, the team was 42-22 in games started by Varitek, and 48-50 in games started by their other catchers, predominantly Saltalamacchia. The staff ERA was 3.57 with Varitek, and 4.62 with Saltlamacchia. But Varitek's throwing isn't what it was, and the Red Sox chose to sign Shoppach.

The respect for Varitek is such that Red Sox people would love him to work for the team in a non-playing capacity once his career is over. He just isn't sure it is just yet.

Category: MLB

Since: Jan 13, 2012
Posted on: January 13, 2012 5:50 pm

Red Sox invite Varitek to camp; hes weighing it

He also can't throw out baserunners to save his life anymore and hit well below the Mendoza line in September. There's a chance what happened in September is the norm for him now.

How is it dirty? They already have Saltalamacchia as the primary catcher, Kelly Shoppach (who lead AL catchers in caught stealing% in 2011 and hits LHP well), and Ryan Lavarnway on standby. They could easily have said they had no interest in bringing him back like a certain NY club did with Posada.

As far as the "C" goes: Did he live up to it in the clubhouse last September?

I love Tek but it's time for him to hang it up. He's not entitled to a starting spot. His legacy is secure and he has nothing left to prove.

If ballclubs thought like you, the average age of a MLB player would be 45 becasue they can't "disrespect" washed-up players with minor league deals and an ST invite to prove your a better hitter than the starter and a better thrower than the backup.

Since: Sep 19, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 5:11 pm

Red Sox invite Varitek to camp; hes weighing it

20 games over when he was beind the dish, a full point lower ERA when he was back there and they are inviting him to camp.  The organization is trying to let him decide what he wants to do, this seems to me like they are pushing him out the door in an attempt to get younger.  Those numbers you mentioned in your article should be enough to get him a roster spot even if he is getting old and not producing as many runs.  I think the runs he prevents being beind the dish are more important than the ones he produces with a stick.  BeanTown has a pretty good offense, but with all the fallout of the offseason with thier pitching staff they are going to need all the help they can get.  Salty may be better defensively and offensively but there arent many catchers who can call a game as good as Varitek and get the most out of whatever arm in on the hill.  The organization should in the least bring him on in an attempt to bring the young talent along.  You mentioned the future will more than likely start the year in AAA, this leaves a spot open for him and if some shuffling needs to happen during a penant run then so be it.  I would imagine he would accept those terms, he wears a C on his shoulder and should be treated that way.  This is a very dirty move to a player that helped the Sox finally break through that so called curse.   

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