Saltalamacchia: Don't know Tek's plans

February, 17, 2012
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With Tim Wakefield retiring Friday afternoon, can Jason Varitek be far behind?

Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said he has talked with Varitek “here and there,” but insisted he doesn’t know what Varitek plans to do.

Varitek, like Wakefield, was offered a minor-league contract and invitation to major-league camp by the Sox this winter, and now reporting date for pitchers and catchers is just two days away.

“He’s been busy this offseason with the wedding, home with his kids, but every time I’ve talked to him he’s been coming home from the gym, throwing, hitting,” Saltalamacchia said. "He’s prepared to play. He’s got to make a choice, too. Obviously I’d love to have him around. He helped me out a lot last year, he helped me this offseason.’’

The likelihood of Varitek walking into camp on Sunday?

“I wish I could answer that. I wish I could say it was 100 percent. I’d love for him to come. I try not to talk to him about those things. I care about him as a person and as a friend.’’

Later in his conversation, Saltalamacchia said he would “miss having Jason by me, but I’ve talked to Shop (Kelly Shoppach) and he’s a great guy.’’

But asked again if he was preparing for Varitek not to be back, Saltalamacchia equivocated.

“Honestly, I can’t assume anything,’’ he said. “I don’t know where he’s at. I don’t know if he’s thinking of coming in. I’m just prepared for myself. I’m prepared for him not to be here and to be here.’’

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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