Captain transitioning to mentor

We’ve heard about this scenario for a couple of years, but now it sounds like it will finally happen. Jason Varitek, who made the transition to back up catcher in the middle of the 2009 season, will now become an official mentor for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Peter Gammons was among those to report today that Varitek is about to re-sign with the Sox for one year at $2 million. This is a different dynamic than when Varitek was backing up Victor Martinez, a star hitter who had already reached veteran status.

Saltalamacchia is 25 years old and hasn’t come close to reaching full potential. He can not only work regularly with catching instructor Gary Tuck on tricks of the trade, but also Varitek. When Saltalamacchia arrived last year, Varitek was focusing on getting his right foot healthy. Now, it can become a true veteran-prospect catching tandem.

Look for Saltalamacchia to get the bulk of the playing time, but Varitek should be a nice fit against a lot of left-handed pitching. Both players are switch-hitters.

It will be interesting to see if general manager Theo Epstein acquires another veteran catcher as insurance this winter in the event that Saltalamacchia has problems with either his production or his health.

11 Comments

Yay! Thank goodness. It was so hard to imagine Tek in a different uniform. I am so happy that it seems I won’t have to try. Even ruling out the emotional part of the argument; this is a guy who has caught four no-hitters, he is too valuable in every way for the Sox to give up. I am so glad I will still be able to chant “Oh Captain, My Captain” this year. Hooray for Tek!

Welcome back Captain Varitek as a mentor and a backup catcher. Sign Crawford over Werth and keep Ellsbury. Sign Beltre. The Red Sox are in business in 2011. Oh wait, the bullpen….Go Sox.

YES!!! I was really hoping this would happen. Tek is my favorite player. Beyond that, and being totally objective, I’m glad that Varitek and the club both have the good sense to see the potential in this. I pray the Captain is always with the club in some capacity.

I’ve said for years he’d make a great bench coach as he makes the transition to management. A great “baseball mind” would be a terrible thing to waste. Thank-you Tek, and Thank-you Red Sox. I look forward to flying to Boston again next year to see you play. I hope we’ll one day see 33 hanging on the right field wall.

This transition was due to happen, if not overdue. I am thrilled that Tek is back with the Sox, apparently going year-to-year. I would love it if Tek were to remain on as a coach. I wish it had begun to happen a while back, where we would have had a longer-term catcher for Tek to hand the reins to. (Ahem, THEO!) Better late than never, let’s hope. I hope he can help Salty find his groove.
It appears that Adam Dunn will be a White Sox. 4 years, $56 mil, reportedly.
GO SOX!

GS Jays,
If you happen to swing by here again….good news for me and the Blue Jays. A very good friend of mine is going to be managing the Las Vegas 51′s(Blue Jays AAA affiliate) Marty Brown. Being that I live in Vegas….I am looking forward to a lot of baseball out here this year!!!!! Good move Blue Jays…..Go Sox and Go 51′s!!!!!!!!!

That news just makes me want to say…

WOOOOOOOOOOOO-WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

I am very glad to have the Tek-er back. Any catcher who CAN’T learn from Tek doesnt need to be behind the plate

And I learned something yesterday: Catchers equipment is also known as “The tools of ignorance”!!!
Never heard that before.
Now all we need is either Werth or Crawford and Beltre, oh and a bull pen!

this is BIZARRE:
I don’t understand why we got Taylor Buchotz only to let him go. He was never given a chance. He wasn’t traded or used, just dumped. I’m confused.
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Then we dump Oki. I KNOW Oki had a bad year but for goodness sake, he gave the Sox three great years at firesale prices…which I might add I could live on quite easily :) He’s earned a little more respect that this action IMHO. He’s a workhorse and was way overused by Terry Francona. I’m feeling bad for him. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be surprised if he went back to Japan.

this is BIZARRE:
I don’t understand why we got Taylor Buchotz only to let him go. He was never given a chance. He wasn’t traded or used, just dumped. I’m confused.
.
Then we dump Oki. I KNOW Oki had a bad year but for goodness sake, he gave the Sox three great years at firesale prices…which I might add I could live on quite easily :) He’s earned a little more respect that this action IMHO. He’s a workhorse and was way overused by Terry Francona. I’m feeling bad for him. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be surprised if he went back to Japan.
.
Finally, I’m glad to have our catcher back. It’s too bad that Mike Lowell couldn’t join him but that makes Varitek, Wakefield and Ortiz the only faces from 2004 and I suspect it will be the last year for all three of them.

Dave:
I was wondering the same thing. Why non-tendered the other Buchholz and Andrew Miller right after Theo picked them up at the Filene’s Basement. If they sign elsewhere, do the Sox get a draft pick? I don’t get it.

Andy,
Glad I’m not the only one with that question. I’d hate to be on Theo Epstein’s Christmas shopping list. Can you see it:
“I got this for you but in the end just decided to throw it out.”
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As a footnote, on an unrelated subject, the Sox apparently rubbed Victor Martinez the wrong way. In an interview with Adrian Beltre, he commented that Martinez was unhappy with what the Red Sox were doing but did not go into specifics. Beltre himself though was happy to not only return, but to relocate with the team.

Thankfully Tek stays home. I’d like to see him manage the club someday once Tito retires. And yes, #33 on the bleachers would be amazing. I wear his jersey proudly. Now that the A-Gon deal is almost done, the only relocating Beltre will do will probably be the short drive between Los Angeles and Oakland. Like I said on another thread, the infield of Youk (3rd) Beltre (SS) Pedroia (2nd) and A-Gon (1st) would be a fan’s infield wet dream. Would Beltre play shortstop with Scut backing him up? Probably not. But stranger things have happened (A-Rod / Michael Young)…

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