View Full Version : Varitek, Lowe decline arbitration

12-20-2004, 12:35 PM
Interesting, I for sure thought Varitek was coming back, maybe he still is. Can we please get Derek Lowe!!!

BOSTON -- Seven Red Sox free agents had an opportunity to bind themselves to the club next year by simply accepting the club's arbitration offer by Sunday's midnight deadline. All seven declined, a list that included catcher Jason Varitek, right-handed starter Derek Lowe, shortstop Orlando Cabrera, infielder Pokey Reese, first baseman David McCarty, right-hander Pedro Astacio and lefty specialist Mike Myers.

The Red Sox still have until Jan. 8 to reach deals with any of those players. However, in most cases, the Sox and the player will likely part ways.

Varitek is the guy the Sox are determined to bring back. General manager Theo Epstein has had numerous discussions with Scott Boras, who represents Varitek. The clubs have swapped four-year offers. Varitek is hoping for a fifth-year option that the Sox would have the opportunity to void if the catcher gets injured.

One key sticking point is that Varitek would like a no-trade clause. The Sox have a policy against it, and note that Varitek would become a 10-5 player after the 2007 season, eventually making him untradeable at that point anyhow. If the Sox can't find common ground with Varitek by Jan. 8, they would lose rights with him until May 1, essentially guaranteeing he would sign somewhere else.

While the Red Sox watched cornerstone pitcher Pedro Martinez bolt to the Mets earlier this week, they will do everything in their power to avoid the same fate with Varitek.

"Jason is a priority for us as well. That's no secret," Epstein said earlier this month. "I'm on record as saying that we don't want to build a team without Jason Varitek. We might have to but we don't want to. The speed with which we acted after the season and the nature of our offer I think reflects our sincere interest in bringing him back. We demonstrated that we're willing to go the distance to bring him back. That said, we can't control it unilaterally. We'll have to see what happens. We have every desire to bring Jason Varitek back and have him continue to be one of the anchors of this club."

One player the Sox definitely won't be bringing back is Cabrera. While Cabrera did a solid job after being acquired on July 31 for Nomar Garciaparra, the Sox moved in a different direction on Friday, announcing the signing of shortstop Edgar Renteria to a four-year deal.

It is also an extreme long shot that postseason hero Lowe will be part of the 2005 Sox. The Sox have signed free agent left-hander David Wells and will announce the acquisition of right-hander Matt Clement in a couple of days. With returnees Curt Schilling, Bronson Arroyo and Tim Wakefield joining the two newcomers, the Sox have their five-man rotation in place.

The Sox offered arbitration to Reese mainly as an insurance policy in case they had a hard time acquiring a new shortstop. But with Renteria in the fold, Reese, who was popular with the fans in his one year in Boston, will seek full-time employment somewhere else.

There's at least a chance Myers will be back. He did exactly what the Sox expected after being acquired in early August.

McCarty was respected by the club for his professionalism and glove, but the Sox will likely use Kevin Youkilis to back up at both third base and first base in 2005. Last spring, McCarty mentioned that he was pondering retirement.

Astacio, who had a brief stint with the Sox in a year he was recovering from surgery, is a near lock to sign somewhere where he can be part of a starting rotation.

Monday is another deadline date for the Sox, as it is the last day they can tender contracts to Arroyo, second baseman Mark Bellhorn and outfielder Dave Roberts. Any of those three players who aren't tendered contracts will become eligible for free agency. While Epstein has acknowledged that Roberts might be traded, it is highly likely the Sox will tender contracts to all three of those players.

12-20-2004, 01:17 PM
Varitek in all likelihood will sign a multiyear contract with the Bosox.

34 Inch Stick
12-20-2004, 02:54 PM
I know KW was after Bellhorn last year. It would not shock me if KW was interested in him to play second base (and back up several other positions).

12-20-2004, 03:12 PM
Myers sounds good. We need a lefty specialist now that Wunsch is gone.

Of course, I don't expect to see him here anytime soon.