Catcher Jason Varitek has decided to retire after 15 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, a source said. Varitek, 39, was traded by the Mariners to Boston in 1997.

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The Boston Red Sox will be saying goodbye to their captain.

Catcher Jason Varitek has decided to retire after 15 seasons with the team, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press on Monday night. The source requested anonymity because Varitek had not made an announcement.

The Boston Globe first reported Varitek’s decision.

Varitek, 39, is expected to make it official Thursday at Boston’s spring-training base in Fort Myers, Fla.

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Varitek was taken by the Mariners in the first round of the 1994 draft. Seattle traded Varitek and pitcher Derek Lowe to the Red Sox for pitcher Heathcliff Slocumb in July 1997.

All of Varitek’s 1,546 major-league games have been with Boston. The three-time All-Star has a .256 career average with 193 homers and 757 runs batted in. He played for two World Series champions, caught four no-hitters and won a Gold Glove in 2005.

Varitek, respected for his work ethic, surpassed Carlton Fisk for most games caught in a Red Sox uniform in 2006 and finished with 1,488 games behind the plate.

“I don’t think you’re going to find anybody in there who has played with him who says they’re not going to miss him,” Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett said last week when asked about the possibility of Varitek hanging it up. “If Tek doesn’t come back, he’s going to be missed, severely, both in the clubhouse and out in the field.”


• Oakland third baseman Scott Sizemore, 27, will miss the season after tearing a ligament in his left knee Saturday during the Athletics’ first full-squad workout in Phoenix.

• Left-handed reliever Sean Marshall, 29, and the Cincinnati Reds agreed to a new contract that adds $16.5 million over three seasons through 2015.

• The New York Yankees placed ex-Mariners reliever David Aardsma, 30, on the 60-day disabled list. He is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery.

• The Yankees and backup infielder Eric Chavez, 34, finalized a $900,000, one-year contract. Chavez could earn up to $3.05 million in performance bonuses based on plate appearances.

• Seven groups of bidders for the Los Angeles Dodgers — one that includes basketball icon Magic Johnson — will interview with baseball’s ownership committee in the next step toward selling the bankrupt team by the end of April.

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