By JON KRAWCZYNSKI, AP Baseball Writer
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) _ The invitation remains open for Jason Varitek to come to spring training with the Boston Red Sox. But there are no signs that the catcher and beloved team captain will accept.
It appears that an era is coming to an end.
While other stars arrived early, addressed the media, and have clearly bought into Boston’s new regime — designated hitter David Ortiz waltzed in on Wednesday — Varitek has not shown up for the first two days of workouts for Red Sox pitchers and catchers. It’s the first time in nearly two decades that he hasn’t been at camp.
Varitek, after all, has played all 15 of his big-league seasons in Boston.
General manager Ben Cherington offered the 39-year-old a minor league contract. But with Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Kelly Shoppach both signed to one-year deals this winter, it appears that the Sox are moving on.
Starter Josh Beckett says Varitek will be difficult to replace.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)