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.  

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.