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He's Ba-ack


     All I wanted was for him to walk away. Ride off into the sunset and let Victor and George take care of his job for 2010. He's coming back for chump change. He was two World Series rings and has great stats that he can only hurt by returning.

Jason-varitek1      After the Red Sox declined Jason Varitek's $5 M 2010 option at the beginning of this week, Jason Varitek had until Friday to exercise his smaller, $3 Million option.

     Now, Varitek has given a lot to the Red Sox. I mean a lot. He was one of the games best all-around catchers for a little less than a decade, helped them win two World Championships, had two major injuries from playing hard for Boston and has been an asset to what has been the teams biggest strength - pitching - for several years now. But he needs to leave. Except that he didn't. Varitek exercised his option for 2010 on Wednesday, and the Nation weeps.

     Jason Varitek is the worst offensive catcher in the game, and that's a fact. He still has a good eye at the plate, but the man hit .203 last season. All I hoped for was that he would leave, and Victor could catch 100 games and George about 50, and we'd be set. In 2011 who knows, Victor probably wouldn't be catching full-time anymore, so Geogre could catch 130 games and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel: Luis Exposto. Is that too much to ask?

     So now we have, again, a logjam. Three catchers, or three corner infielders. Kottaras is out of options, so we can't send him down, and honestly, he's a big-league catcher anyways. Why, Jason, why?

     For all you've done for this club, you think you'd know that you can only hurt us by taking the field. Don't get me wrong, I love having the guy around. In the clubhouse, on the bench, talking to pitchers and catchers. But it's when the guy puts on his jock that I get nervous. Now, He will probably just be Josh Beckett's personal catcher, because Beckett loves him to death (not literally, unfortunately), and Beckett can't hold runners anyway.

     So we get one more season of the captain. One more season of grounding into double plays, or just popping out to second if we're lucky. But the good thing is, it'll only be once or twice a week, which is cool. Plus he will still have his usual professional, gritty, cerebral influence on the battery staff and the rest of the team.

     In other offseason news, David Ortiz is having touble getting closure on his PED case, as the courts have apparently re-locked up the names since they were apparently seized illegally by the government.

000lackey       Also, apparently Theo met with John Lackey's agent this week in Chicago at the GM Meetings. This can be viewed as only 'preliminary interest', as the Red Sox appear to have five quality starters (Lester, Beckett, Buchholz, Matsuzaka, and Tim-May), all under contract for 2010 and beyond (except in Beckett's case), and since Lackey would be a key part of any rotation he is in. I can see him being a standup #2 for either New York team, or an ace on a Milwaukee or Minnesota squad, but I don't think he is needed in Boston right now. They will probably pursue depth options (the most interesting being Aroldis Chapman), but they do not need a 200-inning guy right now.

     I think the deck is stacked against Lackey returning to LA. He will get bigger, better offers from the big boys in New York, and LA will be more pressed to resign Chone Figgins, who is maybe the cornerstone to their offense, their team and their organization. He will be pursued by multiple teams as well, so the Angels may have to ante up to keep him. Plus, I think LA prepared for the potential loss of their ace by acquiring pitcher-who-hasn't-lived-up-to-his-potential extraordinaire Scott Kazmir in mid season last year.


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