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Varitek returning to Red Sox

It appears Jason Varitek is returning to the Red Sox in time for the holidays.

The free-agent catcher agreed to a four-year, $40 million contract today, a source directly involved in the negotiations told the Boston Globe’s Gordon Edes.

The Red Sox were expected to announce the deal on Friday.

According to the source, the 32-year-old Varitek’s demand for a no-trade clause was the singular issue that kept the sides from reaching a deal previously, but they found some way to satisfy Varitek without granting him a no-trade clause.

ESPN’s Peter Gammons reported that Varitek’s agent, Scott Boras, has been telling teams for the last two weeks that, at Varitek’s request, he would not even discuss the catcher with other clubs until after Jan. 8, the last date he could re-sign with the Red Sox. Varitek made it clear he wanted to return to Boston.

Varitek, who was paid $6.7 million last year, had rejected Boston’s offer of arbitration earlier this week.

He hit .296 with 18 homers and 73 RBIs last season, his eighth with the Red Sox. 

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