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The Red Sox are still waiting on decisions from Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield

Feb 11, 2012, 9:57 AM EDT

Jason Varitek Tim Wakefield Getty Getty Images

Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino was on MLB Network Radio’s “Inside Pitch” on Sirius XM yesterday and Alex Speier of was nice enough to transcribe it for everyone.

Lucchino spent a good chunk of the interview downplaying the absurd notion that the Red Sox are suddenly cheap, but he also confirmed that the club has offered spring training invites to both Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield. They’ve yet to hear a decision from either player.

“We’re hopeful that those guys will make decisions before spring training starts as to whether they would like to come back. They have each been invited to come to camp. But Tim is approaching his 46th year I think. Jason Varitek is approaching his 40th year. Those things are hard decisions. They have both been enormously valuable to the club,” said Lucchino. “Whenever they choose to retire — and retirement is inevitable at some point, obviously, whether it’s this year or its next year — we will always have a place of respect and admiration in the Red Sox organization. But the decisions are now kind of in their hands as to what they’d like to do in this particular season.”

Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington told Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe on Wednesday that he hopes to have a definitive resolution with Varitek and Wakefield by next week. Neither player is a fit on the current projected roster, so odds are we’ll have some retirement pressers on the agenda real soon.

  1. proudlycanadian - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    As they are no longer on the 40 man roster, I assume that any spring training invite would be on a minor league contract.

    • D.J. Short - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:11 AM

      Yep, that’s what he’s implying.

  2. uyf1950 - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    I’m not sure I understand exactly what kind of answer the Red Sox Management is waiting for from both these guys. As I see the 25 man active roster there is no room at all for Varitek so even if he accepted a invite to spring training after that then what?

    As for Wakefield I guess if someone wanted to include him in the mix for one of the spots opened at the back end of the Sox rotation that’s a possibility, a very slim one I would have to think. In that case he’s competing against: Bard, Aceves, Cook, Padilla and Silva. From everything that’s been published Bard has pretty much been given the 4th spot baring something unforeseen happening. So if Wakefield were to accept an invite to spring training there is 1 sport for 5 potential candidates. Why at 100 years old would he put himself through that? Doesn’t make much sense at least to me.

    • JBerardi - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      “I’m not sure I understand exactly what kind of answer the Red Sox Management is waiting for from both these guys. As I see the 25 man active roster there is no room at all for Varitek so even if he accepted a invite to spring training after that then what?

      Uhh, you know… nothing. I think the Red Sox are just trying to be diplomatic about this.

      • bigharold - Feb 11, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        Yeah, .. they’re just giving both these guys an opportunity to retire, as RS, on their own, .. sort of. Clearly they are both past it and coming to ST and pulling the plug themselves is more dignified than not getting an offer and sitting home.

        Baring a bus accident that wipes out half the pitchers and catchers in camp neither of these guys has a chance to make the roster.

  3. drewzducks - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Done and doner. Thanks for the memories guys.

  4. j0esixpack - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    There’s no question the Red Sox are cheap. If they weren’t they wouldn’t use the lack of free agents as an excuse.

    They’d simply thaw Ted Williams’ head, invest billions in cloning technology, and have him ready to play by the All Star break.

    I’m sick of these excuses.

    • richwizl - Feb 11, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Yeah, Mickey must’ve used your liver, ya twit.

  5. hushbrother - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    It makes no sense to bring them back. If either of those guys were to be pressed into significant playing time this year it would mean the Sox are in deep trouble. Nostalgia is nice and all but the team needs better alternatives for its bench and starting rotation.

  6. Jack Marshall - Feb 11, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Tek is through. But if Wakefield comes to Spring Training and his knuckler is dancing, he seems fit and he pitches a bunch of shut-out innings—and I wouldn’t put it past him—why wouldn’t he be a realistic candidate for the squad? Sure—Wakefield has looked terrible in the spring and pitched great when the bell rang and vice-versa, but the last time he was pitching for his professional life, he came up aces (and had the best season of his life.)

    Unless Tim wants to quit, what’s the downside, for him or the Sox? If he stinks and sees the writing on the wall, he can retire in Sarasota.

  7. richwizl - Feb 11, 2012 at 11:12 AM

    Not many get to play into their 40’s, it’s a game for young men. I hope they retire graciously.

  8. 13yrsmlbvet - Feb 11, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    Probably neither has a fit with the current club, but this is a classic example of how not to treat 2 of the pillars of the Sox recent successes. Another reminder the current ownership and front office have absolutely no feel for how to treat people. Lucchino is a me me me guy, crapped all over Baltimore, blew up San Diego and it’ll happen in Boston eventually too. Book it. Henry’s money is just delaying the inevitable. Jump ship now.

  9. patsandsox - Feb 11, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Wakefield has been a great asset to the Red Sox. He has always done whatever they have asked of him. I certainly hope they give him a big celebration day this summer (or whenever) he retires.

    Same with Tek.
    Personaly I think they are done. Although Wake has surprised me before.
    I think both are smart enough to coach and or manage. I hope they are ready for the next stage or their careers.

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