Red Sox throw Wakefield a change-up

The Red Sox did some cost-cutting with Tim Wakefield today according to sources. Rather than pick up his $4 million option for 2010, they signed him to a $3.5 million deal. He also will get a $1.5 million deal for 2011 that includes incentives.

This replaces the perpetual $4 million option Wakefield had. So instead of the knuckleballer costing $8 million over the next two seasons, it’ll be $5 million. The incentives could add another $2 million.

According to WEEI.com, the Sox declined the $5 million team option for Jason Varitek. The player now has four days to decide whether to exercise his $3 million option or become a free agent.

The question is whether Varitek and agent Scott Boras believe he can get a job as a starter with another team. Otherwise, $3 million is high end for a backup.

Theo Epstein will be meeting with Boston reporters later in today, so check back later for more information.

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