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Is Varitek still in Red Sox plans?

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06:56 AM ET 12.31 | The acquisition of Josh Bard in no way should be regarded as an outright dismissal of Jason Varitek, whose agent, Scott Boras, continues to exchange ideas with the Red Sox. At the moment, at least, Bard should be seen as nothing more than an understudy, which is precisely the situation the Sox had hoped for when they acquired him the first time in the Coco Crisp deal with the Indians in January 2006. The Red Sox liked Bard then and they like him now, and they believed he eventually would have been able to handle Tim Wakefield. This time, however, there is the great likelihood that Bard will catch Wakefield and at least one other pitcher as the Red Sox finally make the inevitable transition from one catcher to another. Does that rule out Jarrod Saltalamacchia or another deal of the like? Of course not, especially when the Sox have made it quite clear (to Florida, at least) that they would indeed part with Clay Buchholz. But despite what Theo Epstein said at the winter meetings, it seems unlikely that the Sox could go with two young, inexperienced catchers when they also have youth (or inconsistency) in center field and at shortstop, not to mention injury/durability issues in right field -- J.D. Drew played 109 games last year -- and third base.

Boston Globe

 Jason Varitek, Jim Rogash/Getty Images Jason Varitek, Jim Rogash/Getty Images

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