The Red Sox have signed game planning coordinator/catching coach Jason Varitek to a multi-year contract extension, a team source confirmed to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier on Wednesday.
Varitek’s wife, Catherine, first broke the news on Twitter, noting that the former captain had signed up to remain with the Red Sox for the next three years. “You’re officially stuck with him!” she tweeted.
Originally acquired from the Mariners with Derek Lowe for reliever Heathcliff Slocumb at the 1997 trade deadline, Varitek has spent the last 25 years with the Red Sox organization in some capacity.
After retiring as a player before the start of the 2012 season, Varitek joined the Red Sox front office that September as a special assistant to the head of baseball operations. He concurrently served as a catching instructor and still does to this day.
Following the conclusion of the pandemic-shortened 2020 campaign, Varitek joined Boston’s major-league coaching staff on a full-time basis for the first time as he was named game planning coordinator under manager Alex Cora.
Now 50 years old, Varitek will be back in that same capacity in 2023, according to Speier. In addition to Varitek, Speier reports that the Red Sox expect the entirety of Cora’s 2022 coaching staff to be back next year, barring a major surprise.
Cora and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom had implied as much during the team’s end-of-season press conference at Fenway Park last month.
“Actually, we talked to the possible free agents yesterday and everybody’s going to be back,” Cora told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo) on October 6.
This past season, Cora’s staff was comprised of bench coach Will Venable, hitting coach Peter Fatse, assistant hitting coaches Luis Ortiz and Ben Rosenthal, pitching coach Dave Bush, first base coach Ramon Vazquez, third base coach Carlos Febles, bullpen coach Kevin Walker, major-league field coordinator Andy Fox, and Varitek.
Venable was linked to the Royals’ managerial opening in recent weeks, but that vacancy has since been filled by Rays bench coach Matt Quatraro. The White Sox were the last team without a manager as of earlier this week, but they are expected to tap Kansas City bench coach Pedro Grifol for the job in the coming days.
(Picture of Jason Varitek: Mike Carlson/Getty Images)