Martinez, Varitek among first to file for FA

BOSTON -- Red Sox catchers Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek were among the first players to file for free agency after the World Series, according to the list of 142 players released Monday night by the Major League Players Association.

Third baseman Mike Lowell was the other Red Sox player who filed, although Lowell has announced he is retiring and his listing is believed to be only procedural.

Martinez had expressed his preference in spring training that the Red Sox sign him to an extension rather than filing for free agency, but the Sox held off on doing so. When the season ended, Martinez said returning to the Red Sox remained his preference, but at the same time expressed a definite interest in learning how much interest other teams would have in his services.

“This is the opportunity every player dreams about, to go out in free agency,’’ he said. “Early in the season I made it clear I didn’t want to be part of free agency. But they [the Red Sox] gave me a chance with the season over [to be a free agent], so I think it’s fair for me and everybody to see what happens.’’

Varitek, meanwhile, is 38 and acknowledged that his great run as Sox catcher may well be at an end, especially with the team having traded for Jarrod Saltalamacchia during the season.

“One thing I’ve always been able to do is be realistic,’’ Varitek said on the season's last day, “so we’ll just have to see. There’s about a billion scenarios in play out there, and we’ll have to see.''