While the official end of the Red Sox' postseason hopes marked relief for many who followed the team's most inconsistent season in years, the mood in the clubhouse wasn't quite the same, especially for Sox lifer and team captain Jason Varitek.
Varitek, who has backstopped the Red Sox to two World Series Championships and has caught a record four no-hitters from Boston pitching in his 1,400-game career, might be spending his last week in a Red Sox uniform. He told WEEI's Rob Bradford after last night's 5-4 loss to Chicago that "it's obvious ... you try not to think about it, but it's there, definitely."
Varitek, who was the team's starting catcher from 1999 until the middle of last season when the club traded for Victor Martinez, has handled the backup role well over the past season and a half. He feels that the move to part-time player, coupled with a couple months off mid-season while recovering from a broken foot, helps to have lengthened his career by at least a year or two, but acknowledges that he may not be in the future plans of the team that he's spent his entire professional career with.
For now, Varitek will focus on finishing the season. He's already been talked about as being on the fast-track to a coaching or potential managerial role with the Red Sox, but those plans may be put on hold for a couple more seasons.
Though his value on the field may not be as high as it was in the past, it stands to reason that the Sox may make an effort to sign him, even if at a very reduced rate; the lack of a market for Varitek's services two offseasons ago when he re-signed with the team indicates that there may not be much competition for his wares.