Jason Varitek

While the Boston Red Sox have not closed the door on re-signing Jason Varitek, there certainly isn’t a lot offers rolling in for him. In fact, there are none and the Red Sox are talking with other teams in the meantime as well about a trade for a younger catcher. Had Varitek and Boras agreed to arbitration, they wouldn’t be in this predicament.

But what happens if the Sox acquire another catcher, decide that they do not want to sign Varitek, and other teams remain uninterested in signing him due to the cost of draft-pick compensation? In that scenario, would Varitek be condemned to inactivity by the absence of a market for his services?

Based on conversations with major league officials, the possibility certainly exists. As a Type A free-agent, Varitek would require draft-pick compensation from any club that chose to sign him to a major-league contract before the amateur draft in June. Once the draft takes place, however, a signing club would not have to give the Sox a draft pick as compensation for the catcher.

It’s hard when people don’t understand the business side of baseball. Most Red Sox fans know of the value of Varitek and what he can do for the team and especially the pitching staff. But what they don’t understand is the Red Sox have placed a value they think is fair like they’ve done with their free agents in the past.

Obviously if the Red Sox were to offer him a contract, it would be up to him whether or not he wants to come back.  I’m sure Theo Epstein wants him back but not at what Boras wants. I’m sure Terry Francona and John Farrell want him back. And I’m sure the entire team would want him back too. Ultimately in the end, the decision for Varitek is whether or not he wants to be a member of the Red Sox or move on in his career.

It wouldn’t surprise me if the Red Sox part ways with him like they have with free agents in the past but the fan in me wants him back.

And to think, he could have made around $10 million just by accepting the arbitration offer back in December.

Update: Erin from Jason-Varitek.com reminded me about a great piece from Dan Roche over at WBZ this afternoon on Varitek’s situation.