According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, the Boston Red Sox and former catcher Jason Varitek are close to working out a deal that will make him an employee of the club once more. He won't be getting behind the plate this time around -- his playing days are behind him -- but Varitek is expected to coach in some capacity.
Bradford suggests he would head to the instructional league in Florida to work with young players. Varitek, even before retiring, was often mentioned as a future managerial candidate for the Red Sox, given he was the team's captain and considered a leader in the clubhouse for years. Without any managing or coaching experience at any level, though, it's tough to hire him for the most advanced coaching gig in the system. This would appear to be the first step on that road, if that's the desire of both Varitek and the Red Sox, anyway.
Varitek caught in the majors for 15 seasons, and entered the pros in 1995 as a 23-year-old. While research has been done to show that Varitek wasn't very good at framing pitches due to a stabbing motion he used to ensnare them, his game calling was nearly unparalleled among his peers. Both pitchers who worked with them, and those who have studied advanced defensive metrics for catchers, agree that Varitek was special in this regard. Someone with that kind of baseball IQ working within the organization is a good thing, even if he's just starting out in the lower levels. Everyone has to start somewhere.