Jason Varitek, the longest-tenured member of the Red Sox, is expected to announce his retirement on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla., a major league source confirmed to ESPN Boston on Monday. Varitek has reportedly been offered a position within the organization. However, the source said it is unclear at this time whether he will accept it.
Varitek turns 40 in April and he has been with the Red Sox since his trade from Seattle in 1997. Varitek will retire as the all-time leader in games caught for the Red Sox at 1,488, MLB.com reported. The Boston Globe first reported Varitek's decision.
His wife, Catherine, congratulated her husband for his career on Twitter when she posted from her @catherinevaritek handle stating, I could not be more proud of my husband! What a truly remarkable 14 years with the Boston Red Sox. You are a true Champion! #RedSox #Captain
ESPN said that Varitek, a free agent who served as the Red Sox captain, has not been offered a big league job by another club.
In December, Red Sox principal owner John Henry said he would absolutely like Varitek to stay in the organization in some capacity. Additionally, general manager Ben Cherington said, Our hope is that Tek will always be a part of the Red Sox in some way.
Varitek became a part of the Red Sox on July 31, 1997. He and Derek Lowe were in a trade with the Mariners for reliever Heathcliff Slocum. Varitek made his first Major League start for the Red Sox in April 1998. He played in 1,546 games, hitting .256 with 193 homers and 757 RBIs, according to MLB.com. Varitek was also a three-time All-Star and won the Gold Glove in 2005. He spent much of last season mentoring Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who is now the primary catcher for Boston.
Here's how Twitter reacted to the news:
-- Jason Varitek leaves Sox fans with some of their greatest memories. Thanks for everything Tek. - Frankly Speaking
-- Congrats Jason Varitek on a great career, thanks for everything. - Ryan Munns
-- much love to my boy jason varitek. No one will ever be able to call a game like you. valentines an idiot if he doesnt keep you as a coach -Billy Brunstrom
-- Good bye and good luck to Jason Varitek, the consummate pro. Next to Carlton Fisk, the best catcher in Red Sox history. - Jon Wallach