By Evans Clinchy
February 19, 2012

Jason Varitek was absent today as pitchers and catchers reported to Boston Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., and a source tells Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston that Varitek "will decide soon" about his future.

The Red Sox have offered Varitek a minor league contract and an invitation to big-league camp, but Varitek, who turns 40 in April, may opt to retire rather than accept a reduced role in Boston. The Red Sox already have three catchers in Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach and Ryan Lavarnway, and they're unlikely to need a fourth.

"I haven't heard that we should get his uniform ready," manager Bobby Valentine said of Varitek.

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