Long-time Red Sox backstop Jason Varitek will once again be crouching behind the plate in Fenway Park this season, as he's finally re-upped with the only team he's ever known. Varitek had declined the Red Sox arbitration offer earlier this offseason, but he had seen very little interest from any other team.
About a week ago, the Red Sox set a January 30 deadline for a contract to be signed. Generally, Varitek's agent, Scott Boras, isn't one to cave like this, so the writing must have been on the wall.
As Boras found out, the market for a 37-year-old catcher who hit .220 while watching his defensive skills deteriorate is not a favorable one. The only thing that really stretched these negotiations out was a delusional feeling that Varitek would bring in a Jorge Posada-like haul in free agency from someone.
The Red Sox best-case scenario from their veteran catcher is to get 2007 numbers, but they really don't have any other options at this point. Josh Bard is a decent backup, but he can't be relied upon to carry the catching load. Plus, Varitek knows the pitching staff very well. At the absolute worst, this move keeps those arms in their comfort zone.