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Catcher, Team Captain To Become Free Agent

been one of the key leaders of the team for the past decade guarding home base but his future is now a question mark.

NewsCenter 5's Shiba Russell reported that Varitek becomes a free agent after this season.

He has been on the field every day for the past five seasons but he is one of only two players left who appeared in the 2004 World Series.
The 36-year-old's contract is up and a question about his future got an emotional response Sunday night in the locker room after the Sox loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

When asked if he thinks this might be his last game in a Red Sox uniform, a choked up Varitek said, "I'd rather not talk about that."

Other players said they can't imagine the team without him.

"I mean, he's a guy I've come to know and come to play next to all the time, and I've spent five seasons around him. To not have him there would be a tough thing for me personally and for a lot of guys in this room," Kevin Youklis said.

Before this season's ALCS Game 6, the last time Varitek had hit a home run was in the 2004 ALCS. This was his worst season, with a .220 batting average, which was the lowest of his 11-year career.
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