Saturday, January 31, 2009

Varitek makes a deal with the Sox

At long last the Red Sox and Sox Captain/Catcher Jason Varitek have agreed to a deal. The deal brings Varitek back to the Sox for 2009 and includes both a club and player option for 2010. The club option allows them to bring back 'Tek for the 2010 season for $5 million and the player option allows 'Tek to return for $3 million and a possibly an additional $2 million in incentives.

Varitek made a big mistake in declining arbitration, which likely would've kept his salary at a hefty $10 million. By declining any teams interested in Jason's services would have to surrender a draft pick in the process. Beyond that, 'Tek's services just aren't worth that much. Many have made the comparison to the Orioles Gregg Zaun in terms of experience and offensive production. Zaun recieved $1.5 million for his services this year and has a club option for $2 million in 2010. Have a look at their numbers from the 2008 season:

131 Games
37 Runs
93 Hits
43 RBI
.220 BA
.313 OBP
Age 36

86 Games
29 Runs
58 Hits
30 RBI
.237 BA
.340 OBP
Age 37

You'll notice Zaun played fewer games, but had a higher batting average and OBP than Varitek. Given the similarities between the numbers on these two and the disparity in the deals they got I think it's fair to say 'Tek's offer was generous and enough to allow him and his agent to save face after foolishly declining arbitration. This wasn't an awful deal for the Red Sox as everybody knows that Varitek's marketability is his intangibles such as his work with the pitchers and leadership in the clubhouse. I'm personally glad this matter has finally been resolved.

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