Grosnick: Jason Varitek was a defensive superstar

From Bryan Grosnick at Baseball Prospectus on January 13, 2016:

With all the Powerball jackpot news in the media these days, it’s easy to forget just how hard it is to get a whole lot of something for very little investment. In 1997, the Red Sox dealt Heathcliff Slocumb to the Mariners for Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek, proving that you don’t have to play the lottery in order to hit it big. Sometimes you just have to deal a middle reliever for two mid-tier prospects.

Lowe is worth an article himself (I’m sure I’ll get to him at some point), but today it’s time to celebrate Jason Varitek. Famous for being a stalwart Sox player through the entirety of the first decade of the millennium, Varitek was a critical piece of the team’s 2003 playoff run as well as the squad’s 2004 and 2007 World Series victories. The fourth team captain in the franchise’s long history, Varitek remains a beloved and respected figure for the team’s fans today.

At times, Varitek was also lauded as one of the greatest players in the league, or at least one of the game’s best catchers … an assertion that the numbers at the time never really backed up. Today’s goal is to explore Varitek’s overall value and answer a few questions with the new data at hand: was Varitek legendary, or more ordinary?

Read the full article here:

Originally published: January 13, 2016. Last Updated: January 13, 2016.