There is persistent talk this offseason that the Red Sox may shop Marco Scutaro and that, at the least, they will receive inquiries from teams in need of a shortstop. The Giants, Padres, Orioles and the Pirates all fit that description.
Scutaro would be very affordable for any team, and he has only one year remaining on his current deal. He will make just $5 million next season, and there is a $6 million club option/$3 million player option, with a $1.5 million buyout, for 2012. That makes him a steal.
And he's more than just affordable.
Scutaro led all Major League shortstops with 38 doubles, even though he played most the season with a bum shoulder. The next closest shortstop had 33 doubles. And among Major League shortstops, Scutaro was second with 632 at-bats, second with 174 hits and third with 92 runs. He was also sixth in total bases, sixth in walks, 10th in RBI, and 17th in strike outs.
By these measures, Scutaro was among the best shortstops in all of baseball last season.
Scutaro's .965 fielding percentage was 12th best in baseball among shortstops with at least 500 total chances. Most of his 18 errors were throwing errors, the product of that troubled shoulder. The inflammation in Scutaro's right rotator cuff got so bad that it forced his move from shortstop to second base for most of September. All indications are that he will be healthier next season.
The bottom line is that Scutaro is a steal at what the Red Sox are paying him, and he is a gamer. The guy doesn't take days off; he just goes out and plays hard. He is the perfect bridge to either Jose Iglesias or Yamaico Navarro.
The Red Sox will be well-served to have Marco Scutaro as their shortstop in 2011, and perhaps even 2012.