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Jason Varitek has been a central figure on the Red Sox
during a proud era for the franchise.
Brian Jenkins/Icon SMI

Jason Varitek has reached a two-year agreement with the Red Sox, SI.com has learned. The captain decided to return after many twists and turns in negotiations.

The new deal, with its mutual options, guarantees Varitek two years and could be worth up to $10 million.

The deal is worth $5 million for this year, with an option for 2010 in which Boston can accept at $5 million or Varitek can at $3 million. If Varitek accepts at $3 million, he can earn an additional $2 million in performance bonuses for the 2010 season.

The Red Sox had given Varitek a deadline of today to accept their offer.

The 36-year-old catcher, who has served as Boston's captain since 2005, is coming off the worst offensive season of his career, hitting just .220 with 43 RBIs in 131 games. But he played an integral roll in the franchise's two World Series titles over the past five seasons.

Varitek just completed a four-year, $40 million contract that he signed after the historic 2004 campaign, when the Red Sox broke an 86-year title drought.

Varitek has spent his entire major league career with the Red Sox, but he was originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners as the 14th overall pick of the 1994 amateur draft. The Mariners traded Varitek and Derek Lowe to Boston for Heathcliff Slocumb in one of the most lopsided trades in recent memory.

During his 11-year career, Varitek has been selected to three All-Star teams and earned one Gold Glove.

SI.com was the first to report that Varitek had an agreement with Boston.

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