Jason Varitek: one more year with the Sox

Leave a comment

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.  

The Giants might be ready to part ways with Hunter Pence

Getty Images
2 Comments

Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area hints that the Giants may be done with outfielder Hunter Pence. It’s not clear just how seriously the club is contemplating such a decision, but there are six days remaining on Pence’s rehab assignment, at which point they’ll be able to recall him, reassign him to the minors or release him.

The 35-year-old outfielder has struggled to make a full recovery after spraining his right thumb during the first week of the season. Pence bounced back for a 17-game run with the Giants in April, during which he slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 with one double and one stolen base in 61 plate appearances, but was eventually placed on the disabled list with recurring soreness in his finger. He currently sports a promising .318/.359/.388 batting line with four extra-base hits (including a grand slam) over 92 PA in Triple-A Sacramento.

Despite his recent resurgence in Triple-A, the Giants may not need the additional outfield depth just yet. Mac Williamson, who was recalled in the wake of Pence’s DL assignment, has already cemented the starting role in left field and is off to a strong start at the plate as well. Of course, if the Giants decide to say a premature goodbye to their veteran outfielder (who, it should be said, helped them to two World Series championships over the last seven seasons), it’ll cost them the remaining balance on his $18.5 million salary for 2018.