With all respect to you guys of an opposing view: yes, he will reject a one-year deal if that is what is on the table. I don't want to belabor the issue or make this into a prediction thread, but much of what you need to know about where Varitek is coming from has already been published -- in the SI excerpt of Torre's book. He views a one-year deal not as a reflection of market conditions, but as a statement of his value to this club. Plug Tek's name into some of Torre's sentiments and you have it, exactly.
It's not about him sitting out a year. It's about him sitting out till June. That's not quite the same thing, is it?
You nailed it. People simply can not understand that someone who has made 57 million in his career might have sufficient financial independence to say up yours to the boss when he makes a crappy offer, at least in your mind, and simply walk away. Tek can take a chance that some team gets desparate in June due to injury or performance issues, and sign a FA catcher who could improve their teams pitching and can hit well against LHP w/o having to give up a draft pick.
Whats going to make or break many teams next year is if they can still fill seats in August and September, and you do that by staying in the race. If someone needs to pay Tek 5 million for 1/2 a season of work to stay in the race, they will do so. After mid-June, they won't have to give up a draft pick, just offer cash for one season. If Tek does well, and the economy and market improve, then Tek might see a better offer in 2010.
Imagine if whomever the Red Sox designates to replace Tek gets off to a slow start, and the 40+ million dollar pitching staff does not perform as expected, and the MFY and TBR start pulling away. Will Tek look like a bargain at 8 million then, when fans start leaving the park early, and later those with tickets stop even showing up at the park in August, not to mention NESN ratings going down the tube?
Yeah, if I am Tek, and have to give the wife half my salary, and Uncle Sam 28%, leaving me with only 2 million, and I have 20-30 million in the bank after the divorce, walking away from this offer is not hard. Sometimes people work or play for respect and self satisfaction, and not so much for money (money is simply part of the respect). If you think you are not being compensated fairly, and are not being respected, and can afford to do so, walking aways easy.
Retirement was always on the table, so if the Red Sox FO needs Tek for 1 more year, "overpaying" for him was the solution to their problem. Their problem is not the markets problem, plus they do not have to offer a top draft pick. The market should not dicatate what Teks value is for the Red Sox in 2009. Unlike most teams, the Red Sox are unlikely to take a significant revenue hit in 2009, unless the team completely falls flat on their face.
I still think Tek comes back, there is posturing on both sides, so the Red Sox might up the offer, perhaps 7 million for 1 season. Having to make a trade w/o Tek signed is going to cost the Red Sox in any trade negotiations, as the Red Sox will appear to be in a weak bargaining position. That must be considered as well.
In the end, if Tek does leave, I am confident the team will do what it needs to do to stay competitive, even if it costs them more to do so.