One week after Jason Varitek received a team letter that effectively served as an ultimatum, the Red Sox and their catcher are expected to talk into the afternoon hours today in hopes of settling their winter-long stalemate.
A resolution on the matter still is expected by the end of the day.
According to a baseball source earlier this week, the Sox composed the letter to Varitek last Thursday, Jan. 22, and sent it to the player and his agent, Scott Boras, by registered mail. According to another baseball source yesterday, the letter was delivered to the player and his agent at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 23, and gave the player one week to reply, a precise deadline the team intended to enforce at a moment when negotiations appeared most tense.
Late last night and this morning, the same source indicated that the sides expected to go into the late morning and early afternoon in hopes of resolving the matter. Boras, who is based on the West Coast, is expected to contact club officials today to accept or decline the offer.
It is unclear whether the Sox are at all willing to tweak the offer presented to Varitek, which presented the player with two choices as last known. Varitek had the ability to select either a guaranteed one-year deal for $5 million or a one-year deal with a dual option, the latter of which contained a $5 million club option for 2010 or a $3 million player option.
In the latter scenario, the Sox would have the first right to retain the player, meaning Varitek's deal would be for a guaranteed base salary of $10 million over two years. If the club were to decline its rights and Varitek then opted to exercise the option, the player's base salary for the two seasons (2009-10) would be a guaranteed $8 million.