The Red Sox are leaning toward picking up Marco Scutaro's $6MM option for 2012, according to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. Earlier today, GM Ben Cherington publicly suggested the Red Sox are likely to exercise the shortstop's option.
"We believe he'd be very coveted this offseason if he got onto the market," Cherington said.
Scutaro, 35, set career highs in batting average and slugging percentage for a .299/.358/.423 line in 445 plate appearances in 2011. He also had a career-best 8.1% strikeout rate and finished with more walks (38) than strikeouts (36). Only seven shortstops have contributed more wins above replacement than Scutaro (12.7) since 2008, according to FanGraphs’ version of the statistic.
If the Red Sox don't pick up Scutaro's option, he can remain in Boston for $3MM instead of taking a $1.5MM buyout. After the regular season, I explained why I expect the Red Sox to pick the option up.