Source: Dodgers explore signing Varitek
BOSTON -- Former Yankees manager Joe Torre traded in pinstripes for Dodger blue. Will Red Sox captain Jason Varitek recast himself in the same hue?
That possibility was raised Tuesday by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, who reported that the Los Angeles Dodgers are looking at Varitek as a possible fit in their catching corps, which remains unsettled while they determine whether they will tender Russell Martin a contract by Friday's deadline.
The Dodgers' interest in Varitek, who turns 39 next April, is "exploratory,'' a baseball source said. The Dodgers are looking for a catcher who would be content in a backup role in which he would catch 50 or so games. Varitek is healthy and could fill that role, but the Dodgers have some questions whether he'd be willing to change leagues and coasts at this stage of his career.
Varitek was not offered salary arbitration by the Red Sox but remains a candidate to return to Boston to back up Jarrod Saltalamacchia. With Victor Martinez having signed with Detroit and pitching coach John Farrell leaving to manage Toronto, Varitek would seem to be the ideal mentor for Saltalamacchia, given his knowledge of the pitching staff and opposing hitters.
Varitek's agent is Scott Boras. When Varitek was a free agent in 2004, he instructed Boras not to explore other options until he exhausted all efforts to re-sign with the Sox. Varitek soon came to terms with Boston on a four-year, $40 million deal.
Gordon Edes is ESPNBoston.com's Red Sox reporter. He has covered the Red Sox for 12 years and has reported on baseball for 25 years. Ask a question for his next mailbag here.
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