MGBB noted on another thread a rumor that the Sox have offered Jason Varitek a $5 million contract. According to WEEI's Rob Bradford, the Sox have offered a possible two-year deal. The first year would be guaranteed for $5 million (with possible incentives). There would be a club option for another $5 million or a player option for $3 million.
I think this is a bad deal for the Sox. It seems to go against their policy of setting a value for a player and not over-paying. In my opinion, Jason Varitek is not worth $5 million.
In addition, a Tek signing means that either Josh Bard or George Kottaras won't make the team. While neither is a sure thing at catcher, both have far more upside than Varitek (who isn't a sure thing himself).
Aside from Tek's declining skills, one of my main reasons for not wanting Tek back is my belief that he still envisions himself as a legitimate starting--if not elite--catcher. Why else would he turn down a guaranteed $10 million in arbitration? Bradford quotes ESPN's Buster Olney regarding Tek's negotiations with the Sox:
Here is where they stand in the impasse: Varitek is asking for an annual salary close to the $10-12 million he would’ve made through arbitration, or a two-year deal for less annual salary. The Red Sox are willing to pay him much less than that, and don’t feel they owe him extra cash for services rendered in the past, and they don’t feel they owe it to him to offer a salary commensurate with what Varitek would’ve made if he had accepted arbitration.
If this is true there's no way Tek will accept being a platoon catcher in 2009.
Bradford notes that the Sox have set a deadline for the negotiations. But there's no word on the exact date of the deadline.