Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield appear left out

Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 19, and two Red Sox icons remain unsigned. But Red Sox general manager Cherington did not sound optimistic yesterday regarding the return of Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield.

“There isn’t anything new on that,’’ Cherington said. “We expect we’ll have another conversation with Wake at some point soon. I don’t think our position has changed on that.

“We want to treat both those guys with as much respect as we possibly can, and part of that is being honest with them with what our situation is and what that might mean.


“We’ll continue to have those conversations in a private way.’’

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Wakefield, 45, has been with the Red Sox since 1995. Varitek, who turns 40 in April, has been with the team since 1997 and is the captain.

Both have said they want to return to the team despite struggling at times last season. Wakefield was 7-8 with a 5.12 earned run average, while Varitek hit .221.

The Red Sox do appear willing to retain Varitek in a coaching or front office role.