Varitek, Red Sox Close To One-Year Contract

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BOSTON (AP) - The Red Sox and catcher Jason Varitek were close to a preliminary agreement Friday on a one-year contract that would guarantee the captain $8 million, a person familiar with the talks said.

Varitek would get $5 million this season and have a $3 million player option for 2010, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because talks were not yet final. The Red Sox would have a $5 million team option for 2010.

The sides were still working to finalize additional performance bonus provisions. Varitek must take a physical before the agreement is completed.

Boston had set a Friday deadline for Varitek to accept or reject an offer that would extend his 12-year career with the team. Varitek, who hit .220 last year, became a free agent after completing a $40 million, four-year contract.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-01-30-09 1440EST