BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Red Sox have invited Jason Varitek to spring training as a non-roster player, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The 39-year-old Varitek, who has spent his entire Major League career with Boston, does not appear to be looking for offers from other teams, and will likely accept the Sox offer or retire.
With Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach on the roster, and Ryan Lavarnway seen as the catcher of the future, there is little room for Varitek in Boston.
According to Heyman, Boston has made it clear he would be a backup plan if either of their two catchers get injured.
Varitek hit .221 with 11 home runs and 36 RBI in limited time during the 2011 season. But with Tek behind the plate the Red Sox went 42-22 with an ERA of 3.57, compared to a 48-50 and 4.62 with other catchers.
The move is one out of respect by the Red Sox, as Varitek has served as team captain since the December 2004.