Longtime Boston Red Sox captain Jason Varitek will announce his retirement on Thursday, according to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe.
The news comes as no surprise -- Varitek turns 40 in April, and he's coming off of one of the least productive seasons of his 15-year career. The catcher hit just .221 with 11 home runs last season, playing in only 68 games. The team offered Varitek a minor league contract and an invitation to big-league camp, but the catcher declined.
Varitek is expected to stay with the organization in some capacity, Abraham reports. The Red Sox are well stocked with backup plans at the catcher position -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach and Ryan Lavarnway are all expected to see time behind the plate in Boston this season.