Jason Varitek filed for free agency today. I’ve read a few comments from fans that dismiss Jason altogether, as if it is a no-brainer NOT to resign him. I think those fans have a collective memory that is way too short. Perhaps they don’t remember the string of mediocre players who filled the catcher’s position for the Sox after Carleton Fisk left town. Rich Gedman was okay (.252 lifetime avg.). Tony Pena was reasonable, if in the twilight of his career. Scott Hatteberg. Gary Allenson. Etc… None of these players were bad, but they were not great and they did not provide the anchor that Jason Varitek has. I don’t think it is any coincidence that the Sox greatest seasons have come with him behind the plate. No, he will never be the same player he was in 2004, but he will probably be better at the plate next year than he was this year. Don’t forget, he had two crippling illnesses in the spring, and he was dealing with his divorce. Is it any surprise his offense was down? I think the Sox should do their best to sign him to three more years, with the understanding, perhaps, that by the second or third year, he will be sharing the catching duties with a young player, such as Mark Wagner, to whom he will be a mentor. Transition is good.