Jason Varitek: one more year with the Sox

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The Red Sox declined their $5 team option on Jason Varitek yesterday, but the Captain had a $3 million player option that he decided to exercise last night:

NESN learned on Monday night that the 37-year-old Varitek will exercise
his $3 million player option for 2010 that includes up to another $2
million in incentives. The move is expected to be formalized on Tuesday
and will keep Varitek with the Red Sox through at least the end of 2010.

With
the incentives, Varitek would earn an additional $400,000 for starting
80 games in 2010 and another bonus for every 10 starts thereafter.

Varitek is done as a useful player. His bat is subpar and his defense is atrocious.  Given that the Sox exercised their option on Victor Martinez, ‘Tek will almost certainly be the backup catcher, making those incentives less than likely to kick in absent a Youkilis or Lowell injury that forces Martinez to first base.  

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.