Sox have contract on table for Varitek

Sox have contract on table for Varitek

Not much has changed since catcher Jason Varitek and Red Sox principal owner John Henry had a one-on-one meeting on Friday night. But according to The Boston Globe, there is an offer on the table for the captain to return to Boston.

The Globe said that while there doesn't seem to be an increase in the club's offer since the meeting, a proposal is in fact there.

This is an interesting situation because Varitek gave up anywhere in the neighborhood of $10-$12 million in salary for 2009 when he declined arbitration. But since there hasn't been much of a market for the veteran switch-hitter, mostly because teams would have to surrender a first-round pick to acquire him, it doesn't seem like the Red Sox's offer would come anywhere close to that number.

One source familiar with the negotiations told the Globe that Varitek, who made $10.4 million in 2008, has not given up hope on securing a two-year deal, though that seems unlikely.

Pitchers and catchers are due in camp in Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 12, and though Varitek could wait longer than that, he's normally liked the extra time working with pitchers -- something that becomes even more important this year, with newcomers Brad Penny, John Smoltz and Takashi Saito in the mix.

Another option for Varitek would be to sign after June's First-Year Player Draft because teams won't have to surrender Draft picks to acquire Type A free agents after that point. But Varitek, who turns 37 in April, would likely have to take an even more severe paycut at that point, considering he would be catching for only a half-season.

Hot Stove

In his 12th year with the Red Sox, Varitek, a three-time All-Star, hit for a career-low .220 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs. According to, Varitek told Henry he rejected arbitration because he didn't think accepting it would guarantee him a spot on the team -- considering a club could still release a player after going to an arbitration hearing, then only pay one-sixth of that salary.

Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.