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Red Sox Decline $5 Million Option on Varitek

11.09.09 at 2:35 pm ET

CHICAGO — The Red Sox declined their one-year, $5 million option for the 2010 season on catcher Jason Varitek, according to a major-league source. Now, Varitek has five days to decide whether to exercise his one-year, $3 million player option (with up to $2 million in incentives) for next season.

Varitek hit .209 with a .313 OBP and .390 slugging mark, along with 14 homers and 51 RBIs, for the Red Sox in 2009. He played in 109 games, and was relegated to a part-timer with the Sox trade for Victor Martinez. Most notably, Varitek did not start any of the Sox’ three playoff games against the Angels.

Varitek signed his one-year, $5 million deal with both a team and a player option prior to last season. He has been with the Sox since 1997, and is the franchise’s all-time leader in games caught (1,439). The three-time All-Star is a career .259 hitter with a .344 OBP and .435 slugging mark, along with 175 homers.

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