January 30, 2009

Varitek, Red Sox Agree on Contract

Extra! Extra!:
Jason Varitek and the Red Sox have agreed to a one-year contract with an option, a baseball source confirmed to the Globe's Tony Massarotti.

Varitek will earn $5 million in 2009, with the club holding a $5 million option for 2010. If the Red Sox do not pick up that option, Varitek has the choice of remaining with the club on a $3 million deal. In '10, he can earn another $2 million in incentives based on playing time, beginning at 80 games started.

Thus, the potential total value of the deal increases from $8 million-$10 million to $10 million-$12 million. The incentives apply to both the team and player options for 2010.

59 comments:

tim said...

9casey, now that the deal is done I still say: Fuck him.

Greedy little bugger, could've had $10m but opted to try and get more. Then when hes presented with an offer of $5m from his team he's aided in two WS championships, he still wants to decline it and be a baby and "sit out" 09? Fuck him is right. I don't agree with what he did at all. He thinks hes so high and mighty, he had an embarrassing 2008 campaign and thought he could go get a Texieran deal? Fuck him!

When you compare his "loyalty" to that of Wakefield, Pedroia, Youkilis etc....bah, fuck it - fuck him!

FenFan said...

Tim - Can you reference a statement from Tek that eludes to the idea that he thinks of himself as "high and mighty?"

Good for Tek and good for the Sox. It's a good deal because it's short money and the transition to a new backstop should go more smoothly with the Captain still in the fold.

FenFan said...

... and if you want to talk loyalty, remember that after 2004 when he first became a free agent, he had the opportunity to go elsewhere for more money but chose to stay in Boston.

Wakefield can be labeled with the "loyalty" tag, and Youk may fall into that category, too, but Pedroia? Nothing against him but when the contract he just signed ends and there is a possibility to earn more money elsewhere, we'll see then.

L-girl said...

FenFan, that's obviously an opinion statement, it doesn't need a reference, as you well know.

The only thing that's good about this deal is that we're not locked into two years with him. Maybe at the end of the 09 season everyone will realize Varitek has long since outlived his usefulness, and stop pretending he will suddenly start performing like he's 10 years younger.

seawolvesfan said...

so for $5m we get maybe 100 starts in his mask and maybe if were really lucky a .250 batting average? i say NO DEAL. sorry for that obscure deal or no deal quote but we DONT need him anymore. hes now not worth $5m. i dont even think hes worth 2.5$m after last season.

seawolvesfan said...

totally agree L-girl. though mangement shouldve realized this after last season

redsock said...

so for $5m we get maybe 100 starts in his mask and maybe if were really lucky a .250 batting average?

I'll dance a fooking jig if he hits .250! That would be great!!! He's done it only once in the last 3 seasons.

redsock said...

Good news: Amy gets to keep her avatar!

seawolvesfan said...

alas thats why i said if were really lucky

redsock said...

Tito better not bat him anywhere other than #9.

seawolvesfan said...

well yeah

redsock said...

If Tek sucks and the Sox say no for 2010, would Tek swallow his pride and still come back for $3?

And if so, would the Sox, at some point in 2010, release the team captain?

And can Tito resist giving Tek the playing time needed for the "game played" incentive?

FenFan said...

FenFan, that's obviously an opinion statement, it doesn't need a reference, as you well know.

'Tis true, L-girl. Otherwise, how would the media have run Manny out of town last year?

I'm won't defend Tek's performance last year, which was deservedly panned, but I've never had the impression that he has an inflated ego.

As redsock stated, if Tek bats .250 in 2009, I'll do somersaults down Lansdowne Street.

seawolvesfan said...

"If Tek sucks and the Sox say no for 2010, would Tek swallow his pride and still come back for $3?"
well depends on how is body holds up, really his fingers and hands. tough questions desreve tough answers. my speculation is yeah we probably would release him if his numbers are very similar to last years in '10. and as for .250 im dreaming right.....though he had a lot rest during the season but there has been a lot of wear and tear on him in his career

Ish said...

Does Tek keep the C?

seawolvesfan said...

why wouldnt he?

FenFan said...

The C stays - I don't think anyone else in the clubhouse would take it right now.

Benjamin said...

$5m/year for a backup catcher is overpaying, but only by a couple million. Catchers cost money.

Zenslinger said...

It sucks that we can't depend on him offensively and that he's declining, but I'm not sure why some are outright against his return. His ability to call a game and mentor the pitchers and other catchers may be exaggerated, but it isn't a figment of the imagination either. And it's not like we're taking a pass on Brian McCann to bring Tek back for old times' sake -- what are the options? If they were happy with the trade terms for Montero/Salty/Teagarden, Theo would have pulled the trigger.

andy said...

Good. Now we can concentrate on signing someone else. We should pick up pudge for a year.

9casey said...

tim said...
9casey, now that the deal is done I still say: Fuck him.

Greedy little bugger, could've had $10m but opted to try and get more. Then when hes presented with an offer of $5m from his team he's aided in two WS championships, he still wants to decline it and be a baby and "sit out" 09? Fuck him is right. I don't agree with what he did at all. He thinks hes so high and mighty, he had an embarrassing 2008 campaign and thought he could go get a Texieran deal? Fuck him!




sit out '09 . Masserotti said that he heard that from a source, and if you read Masserotti on a daily basis, you know he's a fucking clown....

When the media speaks for Tek and through sources it's all truth , right Tim.

Bottom Line he is a Red Sock . live with it or move on..........

To have this much anger over Jason Varitek is still mind boggling to me.....

Amy said...

Needless to say, I am happy. Given that the alternatives were not exactly jumping to come to the Sox (if there really were any) and the fact that Tek is still a fine catcher even if a sub-par hitter, I see the $5 million as reasonable. (I mean, in the non-baseball world, it seems ridiculous to pay anyone that amount of money for what they do, but this is the baseball world.) I remain annoyed that he was too stupid or poorly advised when it came to arbitration to go with it, but whatever. As Allan said, I get to keep my avatar for one more season.

I am a sentimentalist, what can I say? I can't believe how pissed off Tim is----I think he needs some steamed spinach or something to make him feel better. :)

redsock said...

Herald, on the incentives:

"If the Red Sox decline it, Varitek can exercise a $3 million option that includes an additional $2 million in performance bonuses that could push the deal back up to $10 million if he catches 120 games."

redsock said...

FWIW:

From SoSH: "... this from Rob Neyer's blog over at ESPN. Someone going by the name of Lyflines studied the ERA of Sox pitchers with and without Tek over Tek's career. He did some modification to take out guys who hadn't started five games each with Tek or others doing the catching and to control for the Pedro factor. Here's what he found:

Using a method to "match" innings, he comes up with a 4.77 ERA with Varitek behind the plate, and 4.66 for other Red Sox catchers. Stripping Tim Wakefield from the study -- Varitek rarely catches Wakefield -- the numbers are 4.80 for Varitek, 4.63 for everyone else.

***

At Baseball Think Factory, they are saying ZIPS projects Varitek at .231/.328/.382, 82 OPS+ for 2009.

9casey said...

tim said...


When you compare his "loyalty" to that of Wakefield, Pedroia, Youkilis etc....bah, fuck it - fuck him!


Those players would never question Tek's loyalty , I am suprised you do......

Patrick said...

Well, we managed to win in '07 with Lugo and Tek. I suppose we could do it again.

It's not too late to pick up Salty/Teagarden and put Varitek on the bench, easing my heart.

I am so psyched for baseball.

L-girl said...

'Tis true, L-girl. Otherwise, how would the media have run Manny out of town last year?

No idea what this means, I thought Tim was stating his own opinion, for which he needs no reference.

I'm not as p-o'd as Tim, but I do think Varitek has sucked royally for years, and I don't think he has some magical powers behind the plate that are irreplaceable.

But it's what we've got. But PLEASE, Tito, PLEASE bat him ONLY 9th, and let's hope this is his last year in this uniform, period. Sentimentality is nice for high school yearbooks. I like players who can, you know, hit.

L-girl said...

sorry for that obscure deal or no deal quote

Are you Canadian?

andy said...

I think there is so much anger over this because everyone, every single person believed that contract disputes and dumb weird decisions would ever be a part of his career. He is held beyond reproach by the fans. He is really viewed as all for the team no matter what. So when this shit happens, which is normal to an extent for most players, people go Fruitbat shit crazy over it all. I was pissed at him and now I am fine with it. If he walked I'd be fine with it. i just wanted him to stop using A-Rod moves with Boras in toe. Just get it over with.

L-girl said...

Thanks Andy. I get it now. Tek was on a pedastal, so for some people, the image came crashing down.

Maybe the image was a bit unrealistic. Or too one-sided. Most people are not all good or all bad.

James said...

I'd prefer if they bat him 8th. I like a little on base and speed in a number 9 hitter, just because you're going to have good hitters coming up behind him.

I can't stand LaRussa, but I think he's right to bat the pitcher 8th. To me it seems obvious that you shouldn't bat your worst hitter before the top of your order.

redsock said...

To me it seems obvious that you shouldn't bat your worst hitter before the top of your order.

You should give your worst hitter the fewest PA possible. Let him make an out and maybe move the #7 or #8 guy up a base.

tim said...

I didn't think my comment would cause such a kerfuffle - Most of it was in jest, I am not angered at all and I do realize that it may have appeared angry due to me using what most consider "harsh language" - one of the "bad" words of our language.

But I am glad he is catching games - I realize he is a solid catcher and I like that. But if he's gonna hit under 200 at the plate, it hurts the team and disables their chance at success. No one can argue with that....I hope...And he had a balls 08 year. Hitting him 9th would be OK I guess...He could perform better than an NL pitcher I suppose. I'm calling him greedy and high and mighty because he was offered 10 million dollars - ten million - and he declined "10 million dollars" - TEN MILLION FREAKIN DOLLARS - because he thought he could get more. Everyone knew he couldn't (IMO). And that 10m was from his team - the Red Sox; given their history (specifically Theo), I don't think they wouldn't short change him. But he thought his services were worth more. I understand that and I respect that. OK fine. But the fact is that what I feel to be a general consensus - "everyone" knew that he would fail in this attempt to get more than that - especially after his pitiful 08 year and generally declining numbers, I feel like he - brainwashed by Boras - became money-grubbing and attempted to get more than 10m/year. To me, a lowly Canadian student, that screams "high and mighty"

As for my comments on Yook/Fuck Yeah/Wake...

As I recall (did not research anything), Wake accepted any offer the Red Sox gave him, Yook accepted this offseason with comments I remember as "Holy shit! I love this team! MILLIONS to play baseball! I love it!" and Pedroia, well to be honest I included his name simply because he signed a long-term contract with the Red Sox and I felt that was loyal to the team because once he is eligible for free-agency, he could possibly command a lot more but he chose to get locked in for a set amount of cash for X number of years.

To conclude: I just feel that the Sox were more than generous in their arbitration offer to Tek, he basically told them to take a hike by declining, went to the open market and realized that it was a damn good offer, and now he's come back with his tail between his legs. I also think the captain "C" is silly - it belongs in hockey, not baseball. But if he wants to wear it, no biggie.

Hopefully this clarifies my earlier (what I meant to be satirical) comment!

andy said...

Baseball is all about numbers. You can hit a hot streak and bat a bad hitter in something other than 9. However over all data this strategy will not be successful.

tim said...

PS - I really do hope that he does prove me wrong - hits like .300 with 20 HR and like 200 BBs and a whole lot of slugging pct! I am not a masochist (right word?) - I do wish him success - but I do not expect it.

andy said...

and another thing. I can't believe the Sox actually gave this guy so much after all that shit. So I think the FO also has Tek on a pedestal.
a tekestal

andy said...

Satire and sarcasm do not go over well on this blog. I for one will not give it up however.

nick said...

I was imagining a line for Varitek that came surprisingly close to the Baseball Think Factory line. Mine, however, was based on no research, personal track record, or capacity for accuracy.

Amy said...

Tim, I was surprised by your anger since you are usually one of the more reasonable people around here. Now that you have restated your views, I agree with you completely!!!

L-girl said...

Satire and sarcasm do not go over well on this blog.

Newsflash Andy: no one ever knew when YOU were being satirical or sarcastic - even after you explained it.

It wasn't the blog. 'Twas you.

L-girl said...

A Tekastil! Love it. I think that's his new name!

PS - I really do hope that he does prove me wrong - hits like .300 with 20 HR and like 200 BBs and a whole lot of slugging pct! I am not a masochist (right word?) - I do wish him success - but I do not expect it.

I totally agree. I'd love to be wrong about this.

Hey, the Republicans didn't steal a third election* - anything is possible!

L-girl said...

* Gratuitous off-season political comment. FUCK IT! :)

9casey said...

tim said...
I didn't think my comment would cause such a kerfuffle - Most of it was in jest,


If the witty satirical authors on this blog would simply put a disclaimer before thier posts, to let us satirically challenged readers know when they are making attempt at a humor , it would be a great sevice to you (for credibilty sakes) and to us (for time sakes).

To come out know and say it was a joke , I believe is a joke. If you actulally believe in your first comments, stand by them , don't come back now and say they were taken out of context (this isn't a political site) you have a view own it...And if it was actually a joke ,keep your day job Senator....

Amy said...

I think this group badly needs the baseball season to begin...so much testiness!! Hey, at least Tim (with his too subtle sense of humor) got us all commenting.

I generally gave up on sarcasm here once I realized Laura was having trouble recognizing it. :) However, I find that in live threads, we are actually pretty good at discerning sarcasm.

WHEN DOES THE SEASON START? I hate this winter with a passion, worst I can remember, and I generally hate winter.

L-girl said...

I generally gave up on sarcasm here once I realized Laura was having trouble recognizing it. :)

Oh fine, blame it on me. Like you knew Andy was being sarcastic. Yeah, right. :)

L-girl said...

the witty satirical authors on this blog

Now that's sarcasm.

Ta-da!

Amy said...

I STILL don't know what Andy means half the time! :)

vrictare said...

I'm calling him greedy and high and mighty because he was offered 10 million dollars - ten million - and he declined "10 million dollars" - TEN MILLION FREAKIN DOLLARS - because he thought he could get more.

Going back to what Tim said.

If 'Tek took arbitration, they could still cut him. He had no assurance of making the team like the deal he has now offers.

Fens1533 said...

Just a thought (from a usual lurker): What's greedy about wanting a second year? It was second year, not the money, that was the real sticking point. Once the two sides got that clear, after the meeting with Henry, things moved pretty fast. The team put a two(ish) year deal on the table a week later, and with a little more talk to work out incentives, Tek took the deal a week after that.

If he'd realized how hard it would actually be to get the deal done, I'm sure he would have just taken arbitration in the first place. But there's nothing disloyal about wanting to play for your team as long as you possibly can!

Also: I'd absolutely call Pedroia loyal. He took a six year contract at a fraction of what he could have made on shorter term deals. That kind of move says "Yes, I want to stay, and I'm willing to take less to do it."

L-girl said...

Just my usual note to say I wish people would stop caring about these notions of loyalty and greed.

Players are people. Human beings. They operate on the same motivations that we all do.

Most people want job security, most people want to get the most money they can for their work, and "loyalty" is usually a made-up concept that is only expected to go one way, from the player to the team. When the player needs it, the team has other priorities.

Players aren't disloyal when they turn down or try to negotiate a different contract, any more than the team is.

andy said...

I love the Joy.

andy said...

That totally could be taken as sarcasm. It is not. I love this place. It is the occasional time that I get in trouble here that really keeps me interested. It does not get boring. Well there are many other things that keep me interested too. Amy, 9casey, A&L, Jere and all the others who are now offended that I didn't name them. This place is really my internet home.

James said...

I don't like Tony LaRussa, but he's been doing the whole hitting-the-pitcher-eight thing. There's a good article about batting your worst hitter eighth from the hardball times earlier this year.

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/is-larussa-right-to-bat-his-pitcher-in-the-eight-slot/

What he doesn't talk about is the benefit of getting the better hitter more at bats, which is probably the best argument against batting your worst hitter eighth.

The way I see it, the player who gets the last at bat in a given game is pretty much random. This assumption may not actually hold water, so if anyone has any info about this I'd love to hear it. That said, it seems to make sense to me that no player is more likely to end the game than any other, with the possible exception that low OBP guys are less likely to get on base, so they're probably a little bit more likely to lose the game.

So, let's assume that a given hitter has a 1/9 chance of ending the game, which means that every lineup spot should get about 18 more PA than the lineup spot below it.

Let's look at the 2008 Sox:

1)776
2)762
3)746
4)737
5)720
6)695
7)679
8)658
9)629

That works out to an average of 18.375 at bats less per each at bat. As you can see, the difference between 8 and 9 is bigger than average, at 29. I looked at four other years, and it does seem like there is, on average, a larger gap between the number of PA for the number 8 hitter and the number 9 hitter, usually about 25 or so.

Although it seems like the gulf between Lowrie and Varitek is going to pretty large (maybe 25 points of OBP and 40 points of SLG), I think I'd take 25 PA from Lowrie so I can have this:

Lowrie
Ellsbury
Pedroia
Ortiz

instead of this:

Varitek
Ellsbury
Pedroia
Ortiz

Pedroia is such a good contact hitter that to only have one person who can get on base hitting in front of him seems like a waste.

andy said...

Why not have Lowrie lead off then? Why not have papi 4th now since there is no manny type hitter to hit cleanup.
LBJ
Jedi
FY
Papi
Youk, Bay, Drew (whomever is hot now)
3rd baseman
Tek.

Or put tek at 6 so the better hitters in the lower positions will be able to overcome the less at-bats with their richer stats per at bat.

seawolvesfan said...

"sorry for that obscure deal or no deal quote

Are you Canadian?"

what?

L-girl said...

I guess not.

That show is huge here. Howie Mandel, sad to say, is Canadian. Not one of our national treasures, IMO.

Zenslinger said...

Projo:

Varitek’s three-year averages are a .237 batting average, .335 on-base percentage, 47 runs, 14 home runs, and 55 RBI. Those numbers place him just below average among starting catchers around the league.

(bold mine)

Does this surprise anyone? I don't know what the baseline for comparison is, but the way people have been talking, Varitek is way below average, not just slightly. But when you take the whole three years into account, perhaps we can hope for some recovery.

The projection mentioned by RS (.231/.328/.382, 82 OPS+) is probably realistic, but we could hope for a bit more, especially if he's only starting 110 games or so. Hit .245, maybe, 90 OPS+?

seawolvesfan said...

L-GIRL:
oh, i just cant watch that show. its kinda the same thing each week, and recently everyday. you see that family guy with howie?

seawolvesfan said...

zenslinger: we can only hope