Source: Varitek to announce retirement

February, 27, 2012
Jason Varitek, the longest tenured member of the Red Sox and catcher of two World Series-winning teams, will announce his retirement on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla., a major league source confirmed.

Varitek has been offered a position within the organization, but it is unclear whether he will accept it, the source said.

Varitek's decision to retire was first reported by the Boston Globe.

Varitek, who turns 40 on April 11, was offered a minor league contract and an invitation to big-league camp by the Red Sox but has not been at the team's training facility. He has been with the Red Sox since his trade from Seattle in 1997.

Varitek last season signaled a desire to continue playing for at least a few more years, and fellow catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said earlier this spring that Varitek has been catching, throwing and hitting all winter.

But Varitek, a free agent who served as the Red Sox captain, has not been offered a big-league job by another club.

The Red Sox signed veteran catcher Kelly Shoppach this offseason and also have prospect Ryan Lavarnway, who made a brief appearance in Boston last season, waiting in the wings.

Only Tim Wakefield had been with the Red Sox longer than Varitek, and Wakefield, 45, announced his retirement earlier this month.



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