Marco Scutaro Rumors
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.
Scutaro, 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.
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.
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.
- 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).
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.
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 Group. Brandon 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.
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers and MLBTR's Tim Dierkes weighed in on the modern-day trade deadline dynamic with Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The non-stop nature of online trade chatter can get in the way of certain trades and facilitate others, Towers said. Here are some assorted rumors with four days to go before the trade deadline...
- The Athletics aren’t presently in the mix for Marco Scutaro, but they could pursue him if other options don’t materialize, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (on Twitter).
- Before he signed his six-year, $144MM extension, Cole Hamels told Yahoo’s Jeff Passan that he’d give pitchers big money, but not long-term contracts. "I'd only give three or four years, but I'd give 'em $25 or $30 million," Hamels said. Fortunately for him, Ruben Amaro Jr. and the Phillies were willing to go beyond four years.
- Many teams would be willing to trade two Major League bats to acquire Joel Hanrahan, Tom Singer of MLB.com writes. The Pirates could rely on Brad Lincoln and/or Jason Grilli in high-leverage, late-inning situations if they trade Hanrahan.
The Rockies have been scouting the Giants’ minor league teams, so a deal could be developing, Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes (Twitter links). The Giants asked about acquiring Marco Scutaro for bench help a couple of weeks ago and relievers Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle could also interest San Francisco, Schulman writes. Here are more notes on the 37-60 Rockies...
- The Rockies don’t want to move Michael Cuddyer and are determined to keep Belisle, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com writes.
- Scutaro, Jason Giambi, Betancourt, Matt Reynolds and Jonathan Herrera are the most likely Rockies to be traded in that order, Heyman writes.
- The Rays, Nationals, Rangers and A’s appear to have interest in Scutaro, along with the Giants. Heyman reports that the Rockies could either seek a highly-regarded prospect for Scutaro or accept salary relief and a fringy prospect.
- Several teams have called about Reynolds, Heyman reports.
The Indians are focused on trade candidates who are under team control beyond 2012, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). This means players such as Shane Victorino aren’t ideal targets for Cleveland. Here are more links from around MLB for Thursday afternoon...
- Marco Scutaro is the most likely Rockies player to be dealt this month, Troy Renck of the Denver Post writes. The Nationals and Rays are among the teams watching Scutaro, Renck notes.
- The Twins are hoping Carl Pavano and Matt Capps get healthy and pitch well in August so they can pass the pitchers through waivers and consider trading them, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
- The Orioles, who continue looking for a third baseman, would have "tried hard" to acquire Placido Polanco if the Phillies hadn't placed him on the disabled list, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
The market for Zack Greinke appears to consist of the Rangers, Angels, White Sox and Braves, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark reports. Rival teams say the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Dodgers aren’t involved on Greinke, and the Indians and Orioles have limited interest in pitchers headed for free agency, Stark writes. Here are more notes from Stark:
- The Yankees are exploring their third base options with Alex Rodriguez out, Stark reports. Marco Scutaro could be an option for New York.
- There’s an expectation that Chase Headley will be traded, but the Padres continue saying they’re happy to keep him, Stark writes. One team says the Padres are looking for a Mat Latos-like return if they trade the third baseman.
- The Phillies are looking for a proven, young setup reliever and a young outfielder or third baseman for Victorino, Stark reports. They’ve asked about relievers Brad Lincoln, Wade Davis and Logan Ondrusek in trade talks.
- It’s already been a busy month for the Astros, but they’re still willing to consider trades for anyone but Jose Altuve.
- The Indians and Cardinals have talked to the Rays about James Shields, Stark reports.
- The Angels are telling teams they’d rather trade Vernon Wells than keep him when he returns from the disabled list. They’re looking for a trade partner and saying they don’t want to eat all of his salary, Stark reports. It’ll be challenging to find a taker for Wells’ salary; he earns $21MM per season through 2014.
- The Indians aren’t likely to deal Chris Perez or Shin-Soo Choo, but they’ll listen on either player.