CHICAGO — It does not come as a surprise, but it’s pleasant news for Red Sox fans nonetheless.
Victor Martinez is officially under contract for next season.
The club has exercised its $7.1 million 2010 option for the 30-year-old catcher/first baseman, according to his agent Alan Nero.
Martinez, who was acquired from the Indians at the trade deadline for pitchers Justin Masterson, Nick Hagadone, and Bryan Price, was an immediate fit with the Red Sox, batting third in the lineup as soon as he arrived and providing the requisite punch, batting .336 with a .912 OPS in 56 games with the Sox.
He eight homers and drove in 41 runs for the Sox, finishing with a .303 average, 23 homers, and 108 RBIs in 155 games overall between Cleveland and Boston.
While Martinez struggled at times defensively — he threw out just two of 19 attempted basestealers — he formed a rapport with Clay Buchholz in particular and cut into the struggling Jason Varitek’s playing time.
We now await decisions on Tim Wakefield and Varitek and whether the Sox will pick up their respective options.