The Red Sox were busy Monday, picking up catcher/first baseman Victor Martinez's $7.1 million team option, declining catcher Jason Varitek's $5 million team option, and tearing up pitcher Tim Wakefield's team option and replacing it with a two-year agreement.
The team also confirmed it was not picking up a $6 million option on Alex Gonzalez, which had been reported Sunday.
Wakefield's deal is worth $5 million in base salary over two years: $3.5 million in 2010 and $1.5 million in 2011, sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney. The contract also may include incentives, with WEEI.com reporting it could be worth as much as $10 million for the two years. The deal replaces a perpetual $4 million-per-season team option the Red Sox had on the knuckleballer, and seemingly will be his final contract.
"Yes, I'm done after two more," Wakefield told the Boston Globe. "That'll put me at 45."
Wakefield, who underwent back surgery in October after an injury-riddled season, currently has 175 career victories with the Red Sox, just 17 shy of the team record of 192 shared by Cy Young and Roger Clemens.
"That's a huge factor for me," Wakefield told the Globe. "They actually came to me with a two-year. We were wondering if they were going to pick up the option again and this kind of negates that. I think this is a fair deal."
The Varitek move does not mean the captain's days in Boston are over, though his days as a starter there are. Varitek holds a $3 million player option for 2010, and has five days to decide whether to pick it up. According to a Boston Globe report, unidentifed baseball sources have indicated Varitek will accept that option. The 37-year-old catcher hit just .209 last season and saw his playing time decline in the second half after the acquisition of Martinez.
Picking up Martinez's option was no surprise, and general manager Theo Epstein told the Globe that he sees Martinez as the team's full-time catcher next season.
"We're going to really look for Victor to be the everyday catcher next year," Epstein said. "The spot we'll have available is for more of a traditional backup. We'll see what [Varitek's] decision is before we move forward. He's got five days to exercise his player option. You can always negotiate but in this case it's his decision to make."
The 30-year-old Martinez was dealt to the Red Sox from Cleveland at the trade deadline this past season, hitting .336 with eight homers and 41 RBIs in 56 games for Boston. Combined, he hit .303 with 23 homers and 108 RBIs in 2009.
Gonzalez also could be back, as the team will explore signing him at a lower salary. Gonzalez plugged a big hole at short for the Red Sox after being acquired from Cincinnati in a waiver deal this August. He made just one error in 44 games with the Sox and provided unexpected help offensively, hitting .284 with five home runs.
Epstein also told the Globe there were no significant developments on Jason Bay's situation and that he hopes to keep those negotiations as private as possible. Bay filed for free agency last week.