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Varitek deadline clarified

Posted by Tony Massarotti, Globe Staff  January 27, 2009 07:49 PM

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Amid confusion about the actual deadline for Jason Varitek to accept or decline the Red Sox' latest contract offer, a baseball source indicated tonight that the player was given "one week'' to make a decision in a letter both he and agent Scott Boras received from the club on Friday, Jan. 23.

According to the same source, the Red Sox dated and mailed the letter on Thursday, Jan. 22, raising the question of whether the Sox meant to establish the deadline on the night of Thursday, Jan. 29. However, all indications are that club factored in the delivery time of the letter, placing the deadline at the end of the current work week.

In the last day or so, multiple outlets, including the Globe, placed the deadline for the Varitek talks on Saturday, suggesting the erroneous information resulted from miscommunication. If and when the Varitek discussions extend into Friday night, it is possible that a resolution will be unknown until early Saturday.

The Sox' offer to Varitek remains unchanged. The player has the choice of a straight one-year contract worth $5 million in guaranteed earnings or a one-year, $5 million contract with a dual option for 2010. In the latter scenario, the Sox would be afforded an option $5 million; if they decline, Varitek then can take it upon himself to return by exercising an option for $3 million.

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