Sometime today we'll probably find out whether Jason Varitek is returning as catcher for the Boston Red Sox. Frankly, it's difficult to care.
Varitek hasn't come out of this looking very good. He first said he was so ignorant of the process he didn't know declining arbitration would attach a draft pick to his cost. Then he apparently was so shrewd he knew going to arb would allow the Red Sox to cut him (forgetting apparently that the Sox have never gone to arbitration with anyone). Now he may just retire or sit out 2009 than take a $5 million offer that is probably about $4 million more than what he could command from anyone else in this market.
I almost hope he does it, just to force the Red Sox to try out a younger catcher or make a trade, even if it's an overpay, for someone else. But Tek does still have value, and his return would provide a smoother, less acrimonious transition. Something tells me he will ultimately swallow his obviously considerable pride and agree to whatever deal it is the Sox have out there for him. If he does, that will be good for him and good for the Red Sox.
But if he doesn't, I won't be shedding many tears.