Is Varitek manager material? One team may think so

Jason Varitek played his entire 15-year career with the Red Sox from 1997-2011.

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Jason Varitek, manager?

The idea surfaced during the Padres’ discussions with candidates for their general manager opening, according to major-league sources. Varitek, the former Red Sox catcher, has a natural connection to Padres CEO Mike Dee, who served as the Sox’s chief operating officer from 2002 to ’09.

The Padres are not interested in Varitek at this time and expect manager Bud Black to return in 2015, sources say. But change is possible – the Padres’ ownership, which took over in August 2012, just hired A.J. Preller to be the team’s fourth GM since ’09.

Black, who is under contract through ’15, likely would be in immediate demand from other clubs if the Padres made a move. Preller, though, would not necessarily be inclined to hire Varitek, with whom he has no previous connection. Preller did not discuss Varitek in his interviews with the Padres, a source said.

Varitek, 42, has yet to coach or manage at any level, but his ascent to a managing position would fit the game’s historic and recent trends. Ten of the current 30 managers caught in either the majors or minors. Two of them, the Cardinals’ Mike Matheny and Tigers’ Brad Ausmus, became managers with no previous managing or coaching experience.

Varitek concluded his 15-year playing career, all with the Red Sox, after the 2011 season. He helped lead the Sox to World Series titles in ‘04 and ’07, made three All-Star teams and also won a Gold Glove.