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Varitek-Red Sox Saga Comes To a Peaceful End

I was going to say a "happy end" in the title of this post, except somewhere deep down -- or maybe not so deep down -- Varitek probably is not so happy about taking a 44 percent pay cut to stay in Boston. So I went with "peaceful" -- although, for all we know, it wasn't that, either.

In any case, Varitek reportedly has agreed to a deal that will keep him in Boston for at least one more year. The deal, which will pay Varitek $5 million in 2009 (down from $9 million in 2008), also has a dual option in 2010; if the Red Sox exercise it, Varitek will earn $5 million, and if the team declines, Varitek can exercise it for $3 million.

Varitek, the Red Sox's captain, picked a bad winter to enter free agency as an older player (he turns 37 in April) whose skills seemed to decline considerably the year before. And he (actually, agent Scott Boras) also did himself no favors by declining the Red Sox's offer of arbitration, which could have resulted in a 2009 salary closer to the $9 million he made last year. That decision also severely limited the market for Varitek beyond Boston, since it meant any team that signed him would have to surrender a top draft pick.

Once again, the Red Sox made a cold, emotionless evaluation of a beloved player's value -- the same type of approach that caused them to cut loose Pedro Martinez and Johnny Damon, among others. In this case, of course, they wound up retaining the player. But only at their price, not his.

By Dave Sheinin  |  January 30, 2009; 3:05 PM ET
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once again, the red sox go the route of a smart business model.

Posted by: adampschroeder | January 30, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

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