Marco Scutaro Rumors

Giants Notes: Huff, Scutaro, Pagan, Affeldt

Giants general manager Brian Sabean has the makings of a dynasty centered around strong pitching and affordable young position players such as Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Brandon Belt, writes Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca. Here are some links surrounding the team that captured its second World Series title in three years last night…

  • The Giants will decline their $10MM club option on Aubrey Huff, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area. The news isn't much of a surprise given Huff's injuries and struggles at the plate since 2010. Huff's contract contains a $2MM buyout.
  • MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez spoke to several members of the Giants organization about the impact that Marco Scutaro had on the team following his acquisition from the Rockies.
  • Gonzalez's colleague, Chris Haft, writes that the Giants and Scutaro will "likely forge a deal" this offseason, as the 37-year-old is too valuable both on and off the field to let go.
  • Haft also writes that Angel Pagan is expected to receive a multi-year contract with an average annual value perhaps in the $10MM range in a thin free agent market. Sabean will need to determine if Pagan is worth that to his team.
  • Haft goes on to say that Jeremy Affeldt could be in line for a multi-year deal on the free agent market. That, along with the presence of Jose Mijares could mean that Affeldt will find himself wearing a new uniform come 2013.

Blue Jays Notes: Bullpen, Romero, Johnson, Villanueva

MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm provides a look at the Blue Jays upcoming offseason and tackles a host of free agent issues in the process:

  • Of the team's four free agents — Kelly Johnson, Brandon Lyon, Jason Frasor and Carlos Villanueva — the most likely to return is Frasor or Lyon. The bullpen has become a position of depth, however, with the acquisitions of Steve Delabar and Brad Lincoln. Sergio Santos should return in 2013 as well. That could mean all four free agents will find new homes.
  • The team has no interest in shopping Ricky Romero and selling on the left-hander when his value is at an all-time low.
  • There doesn't appear to be much interest in retaining Johnson, according to Chisholm. The team once had eyes on bringing Marco Scutaro back to Toronto, but his torrid run with the Giants has likely made him too spendy. Instead, Adeiny Hechavarria or Mike Aviles could take the role.
  • The Blue Jays aren't willing to give Villanueva a multi-year deal and an opportunity to pitch out of the rotation — two things that the free agent is seeking. He'll likely pitch elsewhere in 2013.
  • Anibal Sanchez will probably get an "extended look," according to Chisholm, but it's more likely that GM Alex Anthopoulos will upgrade the rotation via trade.

Quick Hits: Yankees, Orioles, Scutaro, McCann

The Yankees are not talking about a potential Alex Rodriguez trade with the Marlins, according to GM Brian Cashman. Cashman said Keith Olbermann’s report about trade talks is "not true," according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com. It’d be an unusual time to discuss a trade, as the Yankees are still in the playoffs and the Marlins have uncertainty in their front office. On to today’s links…

  • Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette said Jim Thome "did a nice job" in Baltimore and "added a real veteran presence,” Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. Thome sounds undecided about his next step, but he could re-sign with Baltimore this coming offseason. Making room for him on the roster could require some creativity on the part of Duquette and manager Buck Showalter.
  • Baseball executives Brian Sabean (Giants GM), Dan O'Dowd (Rockies GM) and J.P. Ricciardi (Mets special assistant) agree that Marco Scutaro is a talented played with toughness, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Giants infielder stayed in the game to deliver a key hit after being knocked down by Matt Holliday’s overly aggressive slide in the second game of the NLCS.
  • Brian McCann could miss the beginning of the 2013 season to recover from shoulder surgery, so the $12MM club option on his contract presents the Braves with a quandary, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney writes. McCann doesn’t have much to worry about in Olney’s estimation. Either the Braves bring the 28-year-old back or he hits free agency and draws interest from many teams, especially AL clubs looking at him as a catcher/DH.
  • It's too soon to know if the Braves will pick up the option, but MLB.com's Mark Bowman would guess that McCann will be back.


AL East Notes: Beeston, Martinez, Scutaro, Orioles

Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Beeston will continue in his current role after the end of October, when his contract had been set to expire, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports. Beeston and the Blue Jays are believed to be working toward a two-year extension. The 67-year-old acknowledged to Davidi that the sides are "in discussion" and that he's "committed to seeing this thing through." Here are more notes from the AL East…

  • Rays bench coach Dave Martinez hasn't heard from the Red Sox or Rockies about possible manager interviews, tweets Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Martinez was one of the top candidates to manage the Astros before they hired Bo Porter last month.
  • The Red Sox shouldn't have any regrets about dealing Marco Scutaro last winter, writes WEEI.com's Alex Speier, despite Scutaro's strong performance down the stretch with the Giants.
  • Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun lists the five biggest questions facing the Orioles this winter.
  • It doesn’t appear that Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar will be interviewed for the team’s managerial opening, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports (on Twitter).
  • Jon Lester just completed a disappointing season, but as Rob Bradford points out at WEEI.com it could be a good time for the Red Sox to approach the left-hander about another contract extension. Lester, who's under team control through 2014, has said he's "always open" to extension talks. So far the sides haven't discussed a new deal, Bradford reports.
  • Outfielder Nate McLouth would like to re-sign with Baltimore when he hits free agency this offseason, but the Orioles could decide to stick with internal options and try to find another McLouth-like performer next year, Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun writes. In case you missed it, Mike Axisa examined McLouth’s free agent stock over the weekend.

MLBTR's Mark Polishuk also contributed to this post


Free Agent Stock Watch: Marco Scutaro

Few trade deadline acquisitions have had as much impact as Marco Scutaro, who has hit .341/.361/.447 in 44 games for the Giants after being acquired from the Rockies for prospect Charlie Culberson. He's continued to show off his trademark versatility by filling in at third base while Pablo Sandoval was hurt before taking over second full-time.

Uspw_6511012Scutaro, 36, owns a .293/.336/.388 overall batting line this season between Colorado and San Francisco. He hit .299/.358/.423 in 445 plate appearances for the Red Sox a year ago, before they exercised his $6MM option and traded him to the Rockies. Other than that versatility, Scutaro's calling card is his ability to make contact and get on-base. He's struck out in just 7.8% of his plate appearances this year, the second lowest mark in baseball. His career 8.7% walk rate is rock solid as well.

Earlier this week Scutaro made it clear that he would like to return to the Giants next season, so much so that he would be open to re-signing during the exclusive negotiating period after the World Series. The upcoming free agent class is light on quality middle infielders though, so his services will definitely be in high demand especially when you factor in his strong second half performance for a contender.

Scutaro originally signed a two-year $12.5MM contract with the Red Sox prior to the 2010 season (plus the option), and I don't think it's completely out of the question that he signs a similar multiyear deal this winter despite being three years older. The middle infield market offers few viable alternatives, and his versatility means he won't be locked into one position. The Giants are shedding Freddy Sanchez's $6MM salary after the season, money that could be easily reinvested in the team's current second baseman.

Photo courtesy of US Presswire.


Scutaro Hopes To Return To Giants

While Marco Scutaro seemed less-than-enthused about leaving the Rockies when he was traded in July, the veteran now says that he hopes to return to San Francisco next season, writes Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com

I would love to come back here,” Scutaro said. “I really love it here. There are great fans, it’s a great place to play. More important, it’s a place where you have a chance to win every year.” 

The infielder went on to say that he would be open to re-signing during the exclusivity window after the season, before he would hit the open market.  Baggarly hears that the Giants will work hard to re-sign Scutaro after the season as they're in need of someone to handle second base for a year or two before Joe Panik is ready.

In 139 games for the Rockies and Giants this season, Scutaro has a slash line of .293/.336/.388 with six home runs.  Yesterday, Ben Nicholson-Smith broke down Fangraphs' list of the top free agent infielders, which included Scutaro.


Quick Hits: Padres, Victorino, Red Sox, Liriano

ESPN's Buster Olney says (on Twitter) that one NL official called Saturday the calm before the trade deadline storm. Hanley Ramirez and Zack Greinke have already been traded, but there are still nearly three full days to go before the deadline. Here's the latest from around the league..

  • The Padres are leaning towards keeping Chase Headley and Huston Street unless the market changes considerably in the next few days, reports ESPN's Jim Bowden (on Twitter).
  • The Phillies are suggesting to interested teams that they may still sell Shane Victorino and other pieces, but also may wait right to the deadline tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.
  • The Red Sox are willing to deal from their bullpen and outfield surplus in order to upgrade their starting rotation, sources tell Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (via Twitter).
  • Neither Francisco Liriano or the Twins pursued an extension for the left-hander (Twitter link), GM Terry Ryan told reporters (including MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger). The White Sox acquired Liriano earlier tonight.
  • Before Marco Scutaro was traded to the Giants, the Yankees and Athletics also tried to acquire the veteran, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.

Mike Axisa contributed to his post.


West Links: Headley, Scutaro, Rockies, Rangers

Hanley Ramirez has been a Dodger for all of four days, but he's already hit a game-winning homer against the rival Giants. Here's the latest from Hanley's new division and its AL counterpart…

  • Chase Headley of the Padres is coveted by the Athletics, Orioles, and Indians, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter links). It doesn't appear as though Oakland is a match for the San Diego third baseman, however.
  • The Giants will pay $1.75MM of Marco Scutaro's contract according to Heyman (on Twitter), leaving the Rockies on the hook for just $500K or so. Troy Renck of The Denver Post notes (on Twitter) that Colorado has saved $2.8MM by trading Scutaro and Jeremy Guthrie.
  • The Rangers need help at backup catcher according to Nick Cafardo of The Boston Globe, and he reports that they had scouts in attendance to possibly watch Kelly Shoppach tonight (on Twitter).

Giants Acquire Marco Scutaro

The Giants have acquired infielder Marco Scutaro and cash considerations from the Rockies in exchange for minor league second baseman Charlie Culberson.  The money will help pay a portion of the approximately $2.2MM that Scutaro is owed for the rest of the season.  According to MLBTR's Transaction Tracker, this is the first time since 2006 that the two NL West rivals have been trade partners.

Scutaro, 36, has a .271/.324/.359 line in 411 plate appearances with the Rockies heading into Friday's play, though he has just a .570 OPS away from Coors Field.  Scutaro has played mostly second base this season and has also seen some time at short in place of the injured Troy Tulowitzki.  The veteran could see time at either position in San Francisco, as shortstop Brandon Crawford and second baseman Ryan Theriot have little offensive value, though Crawford has a solid glove.  Scutaro also has experience at third base and could see time at the hot corner with Pablo Sandoval injured. 

The Rockies acquired Scutaro in a trade with the Red Sox last winter and he enjoyed his time in Colorado, telling Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post that he would be interested in re-signing with the Rockies as a free agent in the offseason.

Culberson was a supplemental first-round pick (51st overall) of the Giants in the 2007 amateur draft.  The 23-year-old has a .258/.309/.379 batting line in 2575 minor league plate appearances and made his Major League debut this season, appearing in six games for the Giants.

Troy Renck of the Denver Post was the first to report that Scutaro was going to San Francisco.  The Rockies' official Twitter feed announced Culberson's involvement, though Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com thought a deal was in the offing earlier tonight when he reported that Culberson had been pulled from Triple-A Frisco's lineup.  Baggarly also had details about the Rockies' cash payment.


Athletics Notes: Escobar, Inge, Griffin

Here are some of the latest rumors out of Oakland as the A's look to be buyers and not sellers at the trade deadline…

  • Yunel Escobar's reported attitude problems have given the A's pause in pursuing the Blue Jays shortstop, but after talking to Toronto sources, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle "the sense I got was that Escobar has matured from his Atlanta days, when he was at his worst. Two people with the Blue Jays told me they really like Escobar and his reputation is overblown."  In terms of other possible shortstop upgrades, Slusser doesn't think Marco Scutaro "is a top option" for the A's and Stephen Drew might not be available if the Diamondbacks make other moves.
  • The A's are focusing on shortstop more than third base, opines Joe Stiglich of the Bay Area News GroupBrandon Inge entered tonight's action with a .211/.269/.395 line since joining the A's, but Stiglich writes that Oakland values his defense and clubhouse leadership.
  • A.J. Griffin's "value is at an all-time high" and the rookie right-hander could be a "viable trade chip" to get the Athletics a shortstop, a rival executive tells Jon Morosi of FOX Sports (Twitter link).  Griffin, 24, has impressed since joining the A's rotation, posting a 2.25 ERA and 3.63 K/BB ratio in six starts.