Report: Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek has broken foot

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A source told WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche that Jason Varitek could miss 4-6 weeks with a leg injury that may or may not be a broken foot.
The Red Sox have yet to confirm the injury, but it seems to go along with Boston’s move to reacquire Kevin Cash from the Astros on Thursday.
Varitek has been acting as Boston’s starting catcher with Victor Martinez on the shelf with a broken left thumb. The hope is that Martinez will return immediately after the break. If that’s the case, then this wouldn’t be as big of a blow as some of Boston’s other injuries. Still, the list is getting awfully long:
C Victor Martinez – On DL with broken thumb
C Jason Varitek – Out 4-6 weeks?
2B Dustin Pedroia – Out approx. six weeks with broken foot
2B-SS Jed Lowrie – On DL with Mono
3B-DH Mike Lowell – On DL with hip injury
OF Jacoby Ellsbury – On DL with broken ribs
OF Jeremy Hermida – On DL with broken ribs
RHP Josh Beckett – On DL with back injury
RHP Clay Buchholz – Likely to miss a start with hamstring injury
RHP Manny Delcarmen – Set to land on DL with forearm strain
And that’s not all. The Red Sox are actually without the guys who were their third and fourth catchers coming out of spring training. Dusty Brown (dislocated thumb) and Mark Wagner (hand surgery) are both on the DL at Triple-A Pawtucket.
Varitek, who lost his starting job when Martinez was acquired last season, was enjoying a fine 2010 in a part-time role, hitting .263/.324/.547 with seven homers and 16 RBI in 95 at-bats. Not that he was likely to keep it up, but the Red Sox certainly won’t get that kind of production while using Cash and Gustavo Molina to fill in.

Evan Longoria: “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base.”

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The Rays were busy over the weekend, trading starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, designating All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment, and then picking up C.J. Cron in a deal with the Angels. The Rays saved about $4 million — Odorizzi’s $6.3 million less Cron’s $2.3 million salary — and picked up a prospect. They’re still on the hook for Dickerson’s $5.95 million salary until they can find a trade partner, which seems likely.

Those are some head-scratching moves if you’re a Rays fan or a member of the Rays. Dickerson hit .282/.325/.490 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 84 runs scored in 629 plate appearances last season, part of which resulted in his first trip to the All-Star Game. Designating him for assignment is strictly a financial move, assuming he can be traded. The Rays are currently operating with a payroll below $70 million. This comes just a week and a half after Rays ownership proposed the public footing most of the bill for the club’s new stadium. And the Rays had traded third baseman Evan Longoria — then the face of the franchise — to the Giants earlier this offseason.

Longoria expressed sympathy for Rays fans for having to put up with this. Via Andrew Baggarly, Longoria said of the curious Dickerson move, “I just kind of feel sorry for the Rays fan base. … I’m not going to take too many shots but it’s pretty obvious that guy is a valuable player and didn’t deserve to be DFAd. Corey was our best player last year.”

Longoria isn’t quite on the money there. By WAR, Dickerson ranked fifth among position players on the team, according to Baseball Reference. FanGraphs is also in agreement. Still, it’s indisputable that Dickerson, who turns 29 years old this May, more than pulled his weight. The Rays do not have a surfeit of starting outfielders, so it wasn’t like they were making room for other capable players. Mallex Smith, who put up a .684 OPS in 282 PA last year, is slated to start in left field at the moment. Designating Dickerson for assignment, as well as trading Longoria and Odorizzi, were simply cost-cutting decisions.

The Rays’ M.O. has been part of the problem leading to the current stagnant free agent market (sans Eric Hosmer‘s eight-year deal on Saturday). Teams like the Rays, Phillies, Reds, and Tigers have been explicitly putting out non-competitive teams in order to facilitate a rebuilding process. Longoria is right to express sympathy for Rays fans, who see their favorite team worsening a roster that went 80-82 last year. The Rays haven’t finished at .500 or above since 2013 and doesn’t figure to halt the streak this year.