Jason Varitek Re-Signed!

Fruitgirl, amarige, The Teacher, and Will…this one’s for you!

THE CAPTAIN HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN SIGNED!!! (look how happy Jason Bay is about all this)

MJI - ALDS Clinch 2.jpg

Mike Ivins/Boston Red Sox

After a whole winter of waiting and wondering, the Red Sox and Jason Varitek finally agreed on terms of a deal to keep him in a Red Sox uniform for at least the 2009 season.

Now, with that little bit of busines taken care of…I’d be interested to hear each of your grades for each area of the 2009 team so far (beyond your letter grades, I’d be interested to hear what you think the biggest strength and opportunity for each will be):

Starting Pitching:

Bullpen:

1B:

2B:

3B:

SS:

LF:

CF:

RF:

Bench:

And…of course, Catcher:

All the best from the Front Office!
“The Voice of the Nation”

 

Here’s the official release…

For Immediate Release

February 6, 2009

 

RED SOX SIGN FREE AGENT CATCHER JASON VARITEK TO ONE-YEAR CONTRACT WITH OPTION FOR 2010

 

BOSTON, MA–The Boston Red Sox today announced that the team has signed free agent catcher Jason Varitek to a one-year contract for the 2009 season with dual club and player options for 2010. No further terms were disclosed.

 

To make room for Varitek on Boston’s 40-man roster, first baseman/outfielder Jeff Bailey was outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket. He elected for free agency and then re-signed with the club to a minor league deal with an invitation to major league spring training.  

 

The announcement was made by Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein.

 

Varitek batted .220 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI in 131 games for the Red Sox in 2008. He was named a reserve to the American League All-Star team, his third career selection.

 

The 36-year-old made 120 starts behind the plate, logging a .996 fielding percentage, second among qualifying A.L. catchers behind Minnesota’s Joe Mauer (.997). He also ranked third among A.L. backstops in total chances (949) and catchers ERA (3.66) and tied for third in games.

 

The switch hitter has produced 10 or more home runs in nine of his last 10 major league campaigns beginning in 1999, tied with Carlton Fisk for the most double-digit homer seasons ever by a Red Sox catcher. He belted his 158th career home run while catching on September 15, 2008 at Tampa Bay, passing Fisk for the club’s all-time lead in that category.

 

A member of the Red Sox organization since a July 31, 1997 trade from the Seattle Mariners, Varitek is the club’s all-time leader with 1,273 games caught. The 2005 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner is one of 44 players in major league history to catch at least 1,000 games for a single franchise, and one of only eight backstops to do so while spending his entire playing career with that club. He is the only catcher in major league history to catch four no-hitters during his career, including Jon Lester’s against Kansas City on May 19, 2008.

 

He was named the 18th full-time captain in Red Sox history on December 24, 2004 and has compiled a .263 batting average, 161 home runs and 654 RBI in 1,330 career games with Boston. He ranks among the club’s all-time leaders in games (11th), doubles (T11th, 266), home runs (15th), walks (17th, 529) and RBI (17th). The two-time World Series Champion is a veteran of a club-record 63 post-season games. He is tied for second in team history with 11 playoff homers and ranks third with 33 RBI.

 

—RED SOX—

14 Comments

Okay – my 2 cents worth huh?

Starting Pitchers – I think we have the best starting rotation in the AL, if not is all of baseball.

Bullpen – we have great depth there. I am slightly concerned about Okie! Didn’t like it when I heard him quoted last year as saying he has a hard time pitching with me on base. We do need our starting pitchers to get deeper into the game so as to not over use the pen.

1B – What can I say – solid. Have Youk tied up.

2B – Dustin. Enough said.

SS – Boy – don’t know what to make out of Tito saying that Lugo & Lowrie would be “fighting” it out for the position. What does he know that we don’t know.

3B – LOVE Lowell! But I would be foolish if I didn’t say that I was a little worried about how he would be after the surgery. I am confident that he will be better then ever.

LF – I feel that with a full year with us that Bay will shine out in LF for us. I really think he will have great numbers this year.

CF – Ellsbury speed is amazing. But I am worried about his batting. I’ll admit it – I am concerned.

RF – This is another position that I am a little worried about. How healthy will Drew be? Kotsay? Just don’t know.

Bench – I will miss Sean Casey.

Catcher – without a doubt I am delighted that Tek is back! But that is only a temporary solution. We must – like yesterday! – get another experienced catcher whom Tek can train. (Sorry – I don’t feel confident about Bard) Then we must sign Tek to being a pitching coach in our farm system when he retires.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Woo hoo! So glad to finally see the official posting on this! 🙂

I meant to add: Perfect picture choice! The look on Bay’s face says it all….I’m sure the whole clubhouse feels that way!

It just doesn’t get better. Thanks for the official posting, Insider!

So here’s what I want to know: was the Friday Afternoon thing for all Tek-related news items deliberate? Everything that happened that was real “news” — Tek’s meeting with Henry, the contract offer including the second year option, the agreeing on the contract, and the announcent that the signing was official — every last thing has been on a Friday afternoon!

(I already did like Fridays. They’ve just gotten that much better: a weekly holiday for Tek fans. Happy Tek Day, everybody!)

As for the line-up, it looks great to me. Julia covered most of it, really.

The best thing about our Pitching? The whole staff is the best thing! And yes, we’ve got much better bullpen depth than last year. The bases could not possibly be covered any better, particularly if Lowell is doing as well as they’ve said. The Lowrie/Lugo issue is… interesting. But I’m not worried about it. Left? Bay will be fantastic. Ellsbury hit a bump last season, but rookie woes don’t last forever. When he’s on, he’s on. I think we’ll see that side of Ells again in ’09. Drew’s health is always a concern, but Drew himself isn’t. And I actually feel pretty great about Kotsay and Baldelli coming off the bench. DH? Hey, it’s Papi! His wrist should be fully healed by now. He’ll do fine. Catcher? Well, I’ve made no secret of my thoughts there! I’m thrilled we’ve got ‘Tek back. Absolutely thrilled. I know we’ll still eventually need to bring in his heir, but the rush is off and that’s fine by me. No one could give us better defense, and I have high hopes that his offense will get back to where it belongs.

http://eastbaydirtdog.blogspot.com/

… Oh, and to add to what Will said, not only do I agree that the photo choice is fantastic, check out the one I put on my own blog Feb. 6, Friday afternoon! We went right for the same moment, about 3 seconds apart:

http://eastbaydirtdog.blogspot.com/

Man, that was a great moment!

I am a very happy fan these days. This is the best all around team that I have seen in a long time. My first Red Sox team was the 1946 Red Sox; the years have come and gone; 2004 was historic; but this team is special in many ways. They are men of character, they actually do community service, they respect each other and they play to win. They play as a Team. (Bill Russell would say well done)

1st base—- A+
2 nd base— A+
SS —- B Who will win the position will make a difference in my grade. I like both players but Lugo has to settle down at the plate and wait for his pitch and not free swing at bad pitches. He does play with heart. Lowie is young but learns quickly.

3rd base—– A
Right Field—- A- Drew needs to be really healthy— I would put him on a strengthening program in Spring Training
Center Field— A+– He will be able to conscentrate on his hitting–it takes a full year in the majors to get your legs so to speak. He is young–super speed–great hands–a little weak in throwing but makes up for it all by making plays only he with his speed can make.
Left Field—A+ He has found a home in Boston and like Freddy Lynn who played his best in Boston because the fans motivated him, Bay needs the same treatment. He will become the super star he is meant to be.
Catcher-A+++ Thank God he signed–he had a bad year–so what—he knows the game and plays to win. He helps out the pitching staff to be the best they can be. He leads by example and I see coaching and mangering position in his future.

Our pitching staff is solid–more so than ever. As a long time Red Sox fan, I can’t believe I said that about our pitching. In our history that was always a weakness. Now it is our strength.
NOW AS I CONCLUDE THIS RATING I PRAY EVERYONE STAYS HEALTHY. IT IS A LONG SEASON AND ENERGY MUST BE BUDGETED. WE HAVE A MANAGER AND COACHING TEAM THAT CAN HANDLE THAT END AND KEEP IT ALL GOING.

Have a great season. On paper you should win it all.
Go Sox!

The Teacher

Kotsay I predict, after his recovery from back surgery, will be the surprise of this Red Sox baseball season. He is over due and Boston seems to agree with his persoanlity.

The Teacher

Thanks ! I am such a happy Red Sox fan…it feels like a good fit of young players and veterans. I’ve got a really good feeling about 2009, I’m just sayin’….it’s going to be a very special year. Just bought my Yankees seat, so I am a really Happy Camper ! The sun and moon are shining a little brighter now over Fenway Park. Have a great day.

So can I be totally honest here? I shed a few tears when I heard that Tek was back! I feel like he has formed this amazing bond with all of Red Sox Nation and it would be like losing a family member if he left. I am super happy we have him for at least one more year, and will hopefully be able to make the transition to a new catcher a little easier on me…Welcome back Tek!

Bethany
http://tekett.wordpress.com

“Voice,” I appreciate the mention at the beginning of the posting! I was so excited to read the posting and the release itself that I hadn’t noticed it until now.

A little background: I’m a new Red Sox fan, and in fact, a rather late bloomer in being a baseball fan at all…Although I’ve been a casual Red Sox fan for years, it was only last year that I really got into it. And, no, I’m not just attracted to the recent successes of the Red Sox, but rather the way the team accomplished them. Home-grown talent, hard work…and few “superstars.” (Yeah, I know: Manny.) Even though I’m a late-bloomer baseball fan, I could never be a Yankees fan…They’re the exact opposite of what attracted me to baseball in the first place. So win or lose, I’m a Red Sox fan for life now because I think the Red Sox are going about it the the right way. I think bringing ‘Tek back represents that “right way” and firmly believe that when he retires, it must be in a Red Sox uniform, and with a coaching contract coming up next. I also firmly believe: 2009 is our year!

So, “Voice,” I know that everything you post here must have to get approved, etc., or at least is subject to pretty stringent guidelines…I mean, posting here is practically the same as making an official release or statement! So given that, is there anything at all you can add to the record about the process that finally got ‘Tek signed? A little color, the motivation behind offering arbitration, whether the front-office was surprised when ‘Tek declined, etc? I’m guessing not…but here’s one question I bet you can answer: Can you describe the front office when the news arrived that the deal was finally done?

will, I can imagine that the words of the Frosted Flakes Tiger come to mind……..”GRRRRREAT !”
I still can’t stop smiling. I saw Larry Lucchino on MLBtv this morning,he was great….and funny too. He even managed to speak a bit about ticket availability,new player acquisitions,the Captain’s return,and Youkilis and Pedrioia too. He briefly described Red Sox Nation to the interviewers-which was great! Mr. Lucchino also spoke of Theo when he was out of Yale,and his rise from San Diego-back to Boston. Tomorrow is Pitchers/Catchers Reporting Day….finally !

Hey Voice —
Thanks for thinking of me. I had arthoscopic knee surgery that day….and since I was awake for it – the first thing I said when I hit the recovery room, was “did he sign?”. LOL. It was a great day for me…my knee was fixed and the Captain signed. 🙂

And, he should be reporting….today. 🙂

Rebecca
http://supergoddessgirl.blogspot.com

Congrats on being #31 on the Latest Leader’s List!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Varitek’s bat is pretty much toast, but he might be worth it for the intangibles he brings to the table.

http://prospects.mlblogs.com/

— Just ranked the Top 5 Boston prospects

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