Jason Varitek, who will be 38 this coming April, took the full five days he was allotted to decide he'd exercise his player option for $3 million and will be back with the Red Sox in 2010.
But let's face facts. What other choice did Tek have?
He wasn't going to take a cut in pay and go somewhere else, where he wasn't even guaranteed being a starter.
No one, and I mean no one, was going to give him that kind of money, especially to be a backup catcher. And that's what the Red Sox captain is right now. Nothing more than a backup to Victor Martinez.
He didn't start any of the Red Sox postseason games in 2009. Teams ran wild on him last season. (Remember the Texas Rangers and their glorified track meet last summer when they swiped eight bases off him in one game?) He threw out just 16 runners in 2009. 108 stole off him.
Forget Tek's "intangibles," like how pitchers like throwing to him. The arm isn't there, and the bat isn't either. Varitek hit just .209 in 2009.
His days as a starter are now over. He'll be catching Josh Beckett every so often, to give Martinez a break. He's been a great captain and handled himself with professionalism. But his next stop should be in the coaching ranks, and Peter Gammons once said that MLB players voted him one of the players most likely to become a manager one day.
One last go around in 2010, and then I hope Jason Varitek retires as a Red Sox. Father Time catches up with everyone, and he's right now he's knocking on Tek's door.
BTW, I put no stock whatsoever in the rumors that just popped up about Hideki Matsui. The Red Sox would have to move David Ortiz to make it happen, as Matsui is strictly a DH, and I just don't think that would be possible.