Rockies Acquire Marco Scutaro

The Rockies have acquired Marco Scutaro from the Red Sox in exchange for Clayton Mortensen, the teams announced. Scutaro is the second shortstop the Sox have traded this winter, following the deal that sent Jed Lowrie and Kyle Weiland to the Astros for Mark Melancon.

Icon_13085738Scutaro, 36, fills the Rockies' need for a second baseman, as the veteran will return to the position after primarily playing shortstop over the last three seasons. He hit .299/.358/.423 in 445 plate appearances with Boston in 2011, and is returning to the NL for the first time since he broke into the Majors with the Mets in 2002-03. Renck says Colorado earmarked Scutaro as a target when the offseason began.

Mortensen, 26, was a supplemental first-round pick (36th overall) for the Cardinals in the 2007 draft. The right-hander was part of the trade package the Cardinals sent to the A's in July 2009 in exchange for Matt Holliday. Mortensen has a 5.12 ERA, a 4.7 K/9 rate and a 3.7 BB/9 rate in 24 Major League games (13 of them starts) with the Rockies, A's and Cardinals. His 51.3% ground ball rate helps offset the lack of strikeouts.

Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe says (on Twitter) that the Red Sox will platoon Mike Aviles and Nick Punto at shortstop. The deal relieves the team of Scutaro's $6MM salary, giving the club some more money to use towards a starting pitcher. Mortensen is still in his pre-arbitration years.

Jim Bowden of MLB Network Radio and ESPN first reported the agreement (on Twitter) while Troy Renck of The Denver Post said the two sides were finishing up the trade earlier today. Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.


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236 Comments on "Rockies Acquire Marco Scutaro"


Stoibs
3 years 6 months ago

Well….. what the heck do the Sox do at short? Weird.

Ben H.
3 years 6 months ago

Wow terrible trade! Plus, Punto an Aviles platooning? Ughhhh I’m sick to my stomach

3 years 6 months ago

Aviles… he’s better offensively than Scutaro, and has more range and a stronger arm. Punto as a solid defensive replacement in tight games.

stl_cards16
3 years 6 months ago

Punto should not be a defensive replacement at SS.

soxfanfromBC
3 years 6 months ago

Thats where all of his value comes from…shows how much you know

stl_cards16
3 years 6 months ago

Maybe before you try to be the “wise guy”, you should actually look into what you’re about to say.  You’re wrong.  He is average at best at SS.  Punto is an average bat with an average glove.  Not a bad player, but shouldn’t be your defensive specialist, especially at short.

ugen64
3 years 6 months ago

Nick Punto? Average? Over the last 5 years, he is the 2nd best defensive shortstop in the majors with at least 1,000 innings played (#1 is Omar Vizquel), according to UZR/150. Aviles is actually #4 in that ranking, so we can see where Boston is going with their shortstop planning….

slider32
3 years 6 months ago

These guys have never been everyday shortstops!

Mike Agogliati
3 years 6 months ago

 Are you crazy? Better offensively than Scutaro??! Look at the numbers of each career and esp. the last 3 years. This was a terrible trade.

bhunt95
3 years 6 months ago

I think it funny that Aviles was not good enough to play for the royals last year now he going to start for the Red Sox.

slider32
3 years 6 months ago

What is Cherrington doing with the Sox?

Wrek305
3 years 6 months ago

Starlin Castro as compensation for Theo.  He would get eaten alive by Ruthless Red Sox Fans

BillB325
3 years 6 months ago

ha if theo was actually worth that

Wrek305
3 years 6 months ago

He is. Apparently Javier Baezis on their top 10 prospect list has a lot of pop in his bat and even though Castro can hit he will never be what he could be since he was brought up way to early, they should have waited at least 2 more years which would be this year actually then he would be fine. Unfortunately Hak-Ju Lee is also on that list of top 10 SS Prospects at #5..Baez is #8

BillB325
3 years 6 months ago

No a President of Baseball operations isn’t worth that. Expect the compensation to be money and a low level guy or someone like Coleman.

Wrek305
3 years 6 months ago

Obviously I wasn’t serious.

Pawapuro
3 years 6 months ago

Rockies win this one.

Ryan The Braves Fan For Life
3 years 6 months ago

Definitely

diesel2410
3 years 6 months ago

Lol Sox

ellisburks
3 years 6 months ago

lol money freed up for Oswalt. lol

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

still lost this trade by a mile

johnsilver
3 years 6 months ago

All to save 40% of what?? 8-9m to sign Oswalt? Anyone..Even Lou Gorman could have seen this mistake.

It is one thing to make a deal, but how many years did this team sign FA after FA looking for a SS for $$$ contracts, then coming into 2012 they actually would have had 2 in Lowrie and Scutaro.. The Lowrie deal was ok, could live with it, but this one is one Jim Hendry like and we have to hope there is no more hair brainers like it to come and reminds me of the Mike Easler for John Tudor give away ohh-soo much…

If Cherrington has a master plan for SS, it sure must be a whopper, cause it can’t be Punto or Avilles as a MLB caliber SS.

Blue387
3 years 6 months ago

I don’t know what the Rockies are doing this off-season.

soxxxxx
3 years 6 months ago

no one knows what the mets are doing in general am i right??

Thomas Wilson
3 years 6 months ago

filling holes at SP,2B and 3B?

3 years 6 months ago

Do Red Sox fans really think they need a good hitter at SS with the rest of that lineup.

I’d put Iglesias in there.  Let him hit .200, who cares.

EarlyMorningBoxscore
3 years 6 months ago

Well with nobody knowing how much of the season Crawford is going to miss and as of right now Ryan Sweeney is the starting RF…..more offensive production at shortstop couldn’t hurt. 

3 years 6 months ago

Sure, but it’s not like they’ll struggle for runs.  I imagine they’ll score plenty.

soxfan0928
3 years 6 months ago

The Sox RF last season hit a combined .233/.299/.353.  If Sweeney hits to the back of his baseball card (.720 OPS), he will give the Sox a 70 point bump in OPS from RF. 

And last year, the Sox had the best offense in baseball. But regardless of that, what the Sox did here was deal out of a position of magnitude (offense) ultimately for a position of weakness (SP, if/when they sign Oswalt, and also building SP depth with Mortenson). 

It’s a fantastic move for the Sox. And the Rox got a good deal too. Mutually beneficial.

BoSoxSam
3 years 6 months ago

We have no idea if this is a good deal until we sign whoever it is we cleared money for. For example, if we went for someone like Cody Ross with our 6m, I call it a big loss. But if we can nab Oswalt, it’s bearable. Still, you’d think Boston could have gotten more in return. It may end up working out all right for Boston with secondary moves, but they still lost out on this one trade.

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

Most people I talk to vehemently disagree, but I actually mostly agree with you.  The only problem with it, for me, would be if struggling so bad in the majors (as opposed to when they let him struggle all year in AAA) would hurt his development.

quintjs
3 years 6 months ago

Exactly, if he was a 26 yr old former prospect then I would do it, but since he is still young, you want him to continue to develop if at all possible, and thrown in the deep end in the majors isn’t really the best idea.

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

I don’t really see how it would be any worse than pushing him to AAA last year and letting him struggle there all year though (.235/.285/.269 in a full year at AAA).

Joe Valenti
3 years 6 months ago

it isn’t worse. that was stupid to begin with

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

I trust the Red Sox’s judgement more than I trust the judgement of random commenters on an internet message board.

3 years 6 months ago

Yeah this too.  I just like the idea (if I were a sox fan) of having an everyday SS instead of a platoon of 2 mediocre guys.

lefty177
3 years 6 months ago

I say throw him into the fire of the ALE, have Valentine sit down with him & say “don’t worry about the bat, worry about the glove.” Let him sink or swim

3 years 6 months ago

As an O’s fan, I can tell you how much more valuable a good fielder is.  Mark Reynolds smashes balls, but can’t field his position.  His offensive value is mitigated by his defensive liabilities

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

watching a brilliant defensive shortstop can be just as fun as watching a great hitter imo

the rest of boston probably does not agree with me though, and would flip out about his batting average

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

Agreed

Also, having Boston’s (average) sports fans disagree with you is usually a pretty good indication that you’re right.

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

well sure. but unlike me, the team has to care about what the average boston sports fan will think

probably the worst part of the job

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

Unfortunately true I suppose.

Joe Valenti
3 years 6 months ago

wow. wasn’t reynolds considered an above average fielder with arizona? i just looked up his stats and they were awful in baltimore but i thought he was generally considered a good fielder before that

Jacob Fowler
3 years 6 months ago

Great thought. I could care less if he hits .150 and bunts every time with the defense he provides. However, this was an extremely ill-thought out trade if you ask me. yes, moving Scutaro makes sense and is fine, but why not try and get Dexter Fowler by adding in a mid-level prospect. Not only would he fill in as a great #9 hitter or even lead off is Valentine moves Ellsbury, but he would likely be able to handle RF as Fenway is not as spacious and won’t require a terrific arm as may other stadiums do. 

3 years 6 months ago

This makes sense.  The return left something to be desired for sure, but complaining that there is no SS is kind of silly.

3 years 6 months ago

You don’t ask for Fowler back because that doesn’t free up enough $$$ to sign Oswalt, which will be announced by mid-day tomorrow. Greta move to open up playing time for a young SS in Iglesias and to free up the $$$ to sign Oswalt

3 years 6 months ago

You are Dexter Fowler’s dad aren’t you?

SwingtimeInTheRockies
3 years 6 months ago

 You wouldn’t be able to get Fowler just by “adding in a mid-level prospect.” 

rockiesmagicnumber
3 years 6 months ago

That’s the truth. Fowler is one of the few guys from those draft classes who didn’t get shipped out. There’s a reason for that.

3 years 6 months ago

so how many positions can they afford to have subpar hitters at? ss, catcher, rf? not in al east!

JohnPaulP
3 years 6 months ago

I’m not entirely sure catcher will be a weakness for them next year.  Saltalamachia and Varitek combined for a .229/.292/.439 slash line last year, and that .731 OPS ranks in the bottom half of the top 10 of all MLB teams in 2011 from catchers, and the 27 HR’s would be in the top 5 from the catcher position by team (does not include fantasy catchers like Napoli and Martinez’s HR’s while DHing.)

It’s also entirely possible that you could see Saltalamachia, who will be 27 this year and finally have a full season under his belt, catch something liek 125 games and improve, as well as getting more from Lavarnway in 30 games than Varitek would give.

Sure, they don’t have a Mauer/McCann/Avila/Santana type sitting behind the plate, but I’d say offensively, they are above league average, not below it.

But yeah, RF and SS aren’t looking so hot right now.  Although I think they were one of the worst 3 teams in production from RF last year anyway, so Sweeney might actually be an improvement.

Cosmo3
3 years 6 months ago

Cherington’s first big move is a rough one

3 years 6 months ago

i wouldnt call it cheringtons first move

BigPattyG
3 years 6 months ago

Getting Baily was the first big move.

BoSoxSam
3 years 6 months ago

I wouldn’t call this a big move.

Disgustedfan
3 years 6 months ago

Wow is the red sox front office on crack. A starting SS for a mediocre pitcher

bravesdude
3 years 6 months ago

Wow . I wonder if Frank Wren realized that Cherington was just going to give Scutaro away . Hell , we could’ve given the Red Sox a better prospect than that without putting a dent in our system .

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

this is exaaactly what i was thinking. if you’re getting a pitcher back, how do you not trade this guy to the braves

HOW

TimotheusATL
3 years 6 months ago

Braves would’ve wanted cash to offset salary.

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

braves fans should be pretty bothered by that

TimotheusATL
3 years 6 months ago

I think I can safely say most of us are. Our version of moneyball consists of poor mouthing about how broke we are followed by throwing money down bottomless kawakami sized pits.

nictonjr
3 years 6 months ago

If you’re looking to dump a $6mil contract, the Braves are the last team you talk to. Sox didn’t eat a penny.  Which top pitching prospect the Braves willing to give p for the Sox to eat most of the $6 mil???

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

i know man, $6M for a 3.5 WAR shortstop is brutal

and only one of the braves top pitching prospects would have been better than the immortal clayton mortensen

ultimate913
3 years 6 months ago

No. Chicken and beer.

quintjs
3 years 6 months ago

This basically has to mean that the Red Sox have an agreement with Oswalt (or Jackson, but Oswalt) – otherwise there is no point doing it. (edit: or with the White Sox for Floyd i guess)

Odds are the hold up with the trade was getting the agreement with the Pitcher.

3 years 6 months ago

Why wouldn’t they just sign the pitcher before making the trade?  There’s no rule that says as soon as you go over the luxury tax line you must pay, even if you get under it the next day.

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

In case the trade fell through. 

3 years 6 months ago

Yeah I understand.  I’m just playing devil’s advocate

vilifyingforce
3 years 6 months ago

I’m sure they could have found another taker pretty quickly if all they wanted was somebody like Mortensen.

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

Probably, but if they really needed to trade Scutaro in order to add a pitcher, they aren’t going to add the pitcher and just assume they can trade Scutaro later.  That’s just not how business works.

vilifyingforce
3 years 6 months ago

Instead they trade the player and assume they can sign the pitcher. That’s just not how business works. Besides I’m sure many teams would be interested in a free Scutaro.

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

That’s exactly how it works, you have to worry about having the resources before you buy the product.  Doing it the other way around is a recipe for disaster.

vilifyingforce
3 years 6 months ago

So just give a player away in hopes you can sign a starter? That’s how business works? Give players away in hopes you can sign different ones. Normally I’d agree with you if the trade made sense on its own but dealing Scutaro for junk doesn’t make any sense and Im sure Colorado would wait on it for a few days to give the Sox time to sign whoever it is they’re chasing.

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

The trade is bad whether is was done before, during, or after signing a pitcher.  But that is irrelevant to the point; the point is that you don’t sign a player hoping you can find a way to fit him in, you find the money to sign him and then you sign him.

vilifyingforce
3 years 6 months ago

It’s not the point? In this specific case it’s exactly the point. They gave Scutaro away, quit acting like that was something tough for the Sox to figure out. Get a deal in place with a pitcher, put out notice to the league that the first depth arm offered they can have Scutaro and before the presser can be scheduled for whatever pitcher is signed Scoots is gone. You can have a deal done and sit on it for a few days.

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

You are obviously having a hard time following the conversation:

“Why wouldn’t they just sign the pitcher before making the trade?” -Jeff

“In case the trade fell through.” -Me

“I’m sure they could have found another taker pretty quickly if all they wanted was somebody like Mortensen.” -You

“Probably, but if they really needed to trade Scutaro in order to add a pitcher, they aren’t going to add the pitcher and just assume they can trade Scutaro later.  That’s just not how business works.” -Me

It was pretty clearly a conversation about whether you find the payrolls space first, or if you sign the player before you have room o the payroll, and then you started talking about how it was bad business to give a player away for free, which had absolutely nothing to do with the original conversation about which should come first.  Completely different issue.

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

You are obviously having a hard time following the conversation:

“Why wouldn’t they just sign the pitcher before making the trade?” -Jeff

“In case the trade fell through.” -Me

“I’m sure they could have found another taker pretty quickly if all they wanted was somebody like Mortensen.” -You

“Probably, but if they really needed to trade Scutaro in order to add a pitcher, they aren’t going to add the pitcher and just assume they can trade Scutaro later.  That’s just not how business works.” -Me

It was pretty clearly a conversation about whether you find the payrolls space first, or if you sign the player before you have room o the payroll, and then you started talking about how it was bad business to give a player away for free, which had absolutely nothing to do with the original conversation about which should come first.  Completely different issue.

3 years 6 months ago

Google Cole Hamels and click news.

JST1331
3 years 6 months ago

Me being a Phillies fan this better not happen!

MB923
3 years 6 months ago

lol there’s no source for that at all. You being a Phillies fan in all liklihood have nothing to worry about.

melonis_rex
3 years 6 months ago

scutaro would be a free agent next year. signing cole hamels and trading scutaro are completely irrelevant 

3 years 6 months ago

lol Nick Punto your 2012 bsox starting ss Gardy has suddenly taken over in Boston.

EarlyMorningBoxscore
3 years 6 months ago

Only Punto isn’t starting.

Rangersfan32
3 years 6 months ago

He very well could. Who knows yet. But I’d imagine Aviles takes over.

Jon Melton
3 years 6 months ago

I would like to see what Aviles does over full season.

3 years 6 months ago

Dropping payroll nothing more.  I would be surprised if Mortenson is still on the 40 man with spring training starts.

bighiggy
3 years 6 months ago

if mortenson was all they gave up, why werent other teams on this. scutaro is a quality second baseman. wish the cards would have went after him

3 years 6 months ago

Or my O’s.

(as if they’d trade inside the division)

bravesdude
3 years 6 months ago

Or my Braves .

3 years 6 months ago

seriously, you think anybody is worried about the O’s? lol

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

he’s a quality shortstop. mortensen is the kind of guy you get back for aviles, not scutaro

Karkat
3 years 6 months ago

Shortstops are for wimps anyway.

3 years 6 months ago

Are the Rockies attempting to field the oldest infield in MLB?  All year they are going to be referred to as “experienced”, but I know what that really means!  OLD!

cookmeister
3 years 6 months ago

I thought that was the Dodgers

Red_Line_9
3 years 6 months ago

I was going to post the same thing.  That infield..outside of Tulowitzki…is very old.  Helton-Scutaro-Blake.  Pretty old!

Jacob Fowler
3 years 6 months ago

If the rockies can pitch, they will actually have a stable lineup, with both INF and OF depth. 

BobbyJohn
3 years 6 months ago

That is one of the biggest “ifs” in all of baseball, unfortunately.

3 years 6 months ago

Mortensen seems like he sucks, can’t strike out anyone and too many walks in a pitcher friendly division.  In the ALE he will most likely get killed.  Seems like a steal for the Rockies but payroll will do that.

bleedrockiepurple
3 years 6 months ago

Love it. O’Dowd just got away with murder.

progmatinee
3 years 6 months ago

While this trade itself seems like a steal, what does it do for the Rockies? If this rotation doesn’t give the team a chance to win, the pessimistic side of me wonders whether a 36 year old 2B simply 1)wastes money that should go towards pitching and 2)blocks what should be the final opportunities for their AAAA 2Bs like Herrera, Nelson, EY, and LeMahieu. Might as well trade or cut 2 of those 4 right now and not waste anyone’s time any further.

Zatch17
3 years 6 months ago

Scutaro just had a career year, 3 WAR, .299 ERA, playing in less of a hitter’s ballpark (by 1 ranking but .2 runs). After 4 years of trusting the next 2b will prove himself, I’m pretty happy with this. Herrerra had his chance, Nelson will either get better in Spring training or probably be in AAA, DJ still has work to do, and EY will be our pinch runner. Cut Herrerra and Nelson and we’ll be fine.

MB923
3 years 6 months ago

He must be a really good pitcher with a .299 ERA (rounded up to 0.30)

Tko11
3 years 6 months ago

Not really, but he did get away with Scutaro’s $6million salary.

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

don’t even

$6M for scutaro is a bargain. less of a bargain if you play him at 2B, but o’dowd won this trade by a significant margin

Tko11
3 years 6 months ago

He won the trade by a significant margin? They got a 36 year old SS/2B. Hes a good player no doubt about it but the Sox were trying to unload Scutaro’s $6million salary and they did. Saying O’Dowd got away with murder or that the Rockies won this trade by a significant margin isnt at all true. Getting away with murder would be like Lowe and Varitek for Slocumb…or Wells to the Angels.

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

You just completely ignored what Boston got in return.  Mortensen is a nobody who could have been released just as soon as he could have been traded.

Tko11
3 years 6 months ago

I dont understand why they picked up the option for Scutaro in the first place, if they were just going to trade him for a nobody. However, I dont think anyone would give up anything good for a 36 year old SS. The main return Boston got was the salary relief. 
Lester/Beckett/Oswalt/Buchholz/Dice-K/Bard

MaineSox
3 years 6 months ago

I don’t think they picked up the option with the intention of trading him, especially not with the intention of trading him for such a poor return.  Things happened between then and now that led to this happening.

melonis_rex
3 years 6 months ago

because scutaro is actually good. Look at how terribly the average shortstop hits. Hanley/Reyes/Tulo/A.Ramirez/Jeter are exceptions, NOT norms. A mediocre hitting, good fielding SS is a good player. Premium defensive position, very few can field the position. He had plenty of trade value at his salary. 

Tko11
3 years 6 months ago

I know that but the return they got must be because there were no other teams that wanted him. I’m still happy with the trade if it means they get Oswalt. It just becomes kind of irrelevant if they do actually sign him. They could have just declined the option and signed Oswalt before. The only thing they got out of it is a AAA pitcher. 

bjsguess
3 years 6 months ago

“Unloading” is not the proper term for moving a player that has averaged over $10m in value while paying him $6m. 

Boston should have gotten back something pretty decent. Mortensen is not that. The fact that Scutaro played a position where the back-up alternatives are less than attractive makes this even more curious. 

How’s that Crawford contract working out now? I had no idea that it would hamstring the organization so much.

Tko11
3 years 6 months ago

I think they want Oswalt and in order to get him and avoid the luxury tax they needed to move someone, they chose to move Scutaro. Not sure why they picked up his option in the first place but it doesn’t really matter now. What do you think they could of got back for a 36 year old SS? Boston’s offense was fine last year even with Crawford doing horrible. Their pitching on the other hand was rather bad. If Aviles/Punto/Iglesias can play good defensive SS and Crawford rebounds a bit they will be fine. If they sign Oswalt on a one year deal they will have a pretty good rotation baring any injuries. 

melonis_rex
3 years 6 months ago

they had a bunch of utility players that could have been not offered arb/signed. saves money right there. 

joeybw
3 years 6 months ago

I’m a Rays fan and I know how these things work, the baseball gods were nice to us yesterday which means the Red Sox trading both their SS’s means Hanley or some one awesome is on the way.

Shawn from New Hampshire
3 years 6 months ago

Wouldn’t it just be a kick in the nutsack if after the Sox freeing up payroll to get Oswalt by trading away Scutaro, Oswalt signs with the Yanks? 

Guest
3 years 6 months ago

Yankees have over a dozen able arms already. A kick in the nutsack would be the Rockies signing Oswalt moments after acquiring Scutaro, considering the Red Sox probably made this trade for that reason.

joeybw
3 years 6 months ago

Would be the last time Red Sox ever trade with them. And it would be funny.

notsureifsrs
3 years 6 months ago

that would be too funny for me to be upset about

melonis_rex
3 years 6 months ago

Or a noncontender? 

BigPattyG
3 years 6 months ago

Wish I could confirm that, but Boston is just trying to free up money for a relatively cheap Oswalt deal.  Aviles will be the starting SS until he gets hurt, then Iglesias.