Friday, January 30

Sox and Varitek Agree on a Deal

The Red Sox have agreed to a 1 year $5 million deal with the captain, Jason Varitek according to Tony Mazz of the Boston Globe. The deal also has a club option for $5 million, or if the Sox decline the club option Varitek has a player option for $3 million in 2010. Tek can also earn an additional $2 million if he starts 80 or more games in the option year.

Personally, I am thrilled this saga is finally over. The Red Sox have their starting catching for the 2009 season; even if he hits .220 we still have one of the best game callers catching today. A lot has been made about Tek's ability behind the plate and whether or not he's over valued. I tend to think he's not, and with the strength of the Red Sox looking like it's going to be pitching this year, it makes sense to go with a catcher that knows the staff, and the pitchers trusts.

The next question is will Theo trade for a young catcher Tek can mentor, or will Josh Bard be the #2? I don't think that deal will be done before spring training, if it's done at all, that's just a guess though. I think Theo is hesitant to deal Buchholz before seeing how he performs early in the season.

Word on Yawkee Way is the Diamondbacks would trade catching prospect Migeul Monteiro for Michael Bowdin straight up, so that has a possibility of happening. The Sox have a lot of pitching and the flexibility to move one of their young arms, I'm just not sure a deal gets done right away.

Plenty more about this needs to be discussed, including the Boras angle. We'll have more as this story develops.


Dale Sams said...

I've seen Bowden pitch. I like Bowden. I don't know anything about Montero, but I do know that of our present starting pitchers, in three years we could very well only have Lester and Dice-K, if fortunate.

I'd like to have Masterson, Buchholz and Bowden around to fill the other spots.

beantownfan said...

Possible pitching depth issues in three years or no permenant catching production next year?(And maybe this year) I'll take the young catcher at this point.
Go Sox!

Dale Sams said...

I think the Sox would be better off just continually dipping into the Free Agent well, even for such wash-outs as Pudge. Texas and Arizona are trying to sell the Sox a bill of goods on these guys. I'm telling you, Bowden will be a number three or four starter, at worst,somewhere someday....I don't think either Texas catcher or Montero are going to be THAT much better than even Bard or Kotteras.

And after riding Gagne like a mule, drying him out, and handing him to the Sox...I'd be leery of Rangers bearing gifts.

beantownfan said...

Dale, even if you "tell me" Bowdin is going to be at least a three or four starter, it's worth it in my mind to spend that potential on a talented catcher. Dipping in the free agent markets for over the hill catchers doesn't to do it for a team trying to win the world series every year.

at this point in the off season, thus far it seems that Theo doesn't want to deal his young arms, but I think pulling in a talented young catcher more than substitutes for a young arm in the farm system.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dale on this one. I'd much rather focus on young pitching than stud catching. The former just seems so much more valuable and necessary for a team's growth.

Rich V said...

Wow dale really going out on limb....third or fourth starter for Bowdin - that's some heavy insight. Let me go tell wife in her pink hat that I heard it here first.
The sox have the young arms and not all will be wearing sox uniforms in the future.
Change is tough for some homers around here that even think lugo is an allstar because of great OBP numbers over a one week period.

Prospects are used to better the organization any way possible - I trust theo will make the best decision at hand for the future.

D Vicino said...

This is good stuff...somehow it always gets back to departing with young pitching

I can see both Dale and Beantown's points on this one. It's been a topic everyone has thoughts on but it's Theo's opinion that really matters. He is the one with the most information to judge value and potential. So far, he's decided that a young catcher is not worth more than one of his young arms. Could that change come spring training? Sure, but right now it seems that he's holding strong on this one.

Tim Murphy said...

I don't have a problem trading Bowdin for a young catcher who we hope will be the future starting catcher in Boston. Essentially you are trading a young prospect for a young prospect.

Theo and company have shown an ability to draft and develop pitchers, however we don't have a reliable catching option after this year, maybe next, we'll see what Tek can do.

If you think the ceiling on Bowdin is a 3rd or 4th starter I think that makes him expendable for the right deal.

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