The Boston Red Sox have signed free agent catcher Kelly Shoppach to a guaranteed one-year deal, reports ESPN Boston, a deal that could signal the end of Jason Varitek's Boston Red Sox career.
A source told ESPN Boston Shoppach will make a base salary of $1.35 million in 2012, plus performance bonuses. The deal should be announced at some time on Tuesday.
The 31-year old Shoppach batted .176 with 11 home runs and 22 RBI in 87 games for the Tampa Bay Rays last season.
Shoppach's deal likely means that 39-year old Varitek has played his last game for Boston. Earlier in the offseason, general manager Ben Cherington said he would speak with Varitek personally about whether the catcher still had a role on the team.
"I have a great deal of respect for both [Varitek and Tim Wakefield] and feel like the best thing for the team and the best thing for them is, if there's not a real role on the team, I'm not sure it's fair, I'm not sure it's the right thing for them or for the team, but we haven't gotten to that point yet," said Cherington, who did not offer Varitek arbitration. "I'll talk to them again when we get closer to that.''