Per Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal, second baseman Marco Scutaro is a hot commodity on the free agent market and has received interest from the St. Louis Cardinals. He also stated that the New York Yankees are another team “with likely interest” in the San Francisco Giants free agent SS. The Giants would obviously love to re-sign Scutaro, but they have listed players such as Hiroyuki Nakajima as a contingency plan in case Scutaro signs with another team.
The likelihood of that happening is pretty high given all the interest that the 2012 NL West newcomer has received. Scutaro previously spent the previous four seasons of his career in the AL East with the Toronto Blue Jay and Boston Red Sox before the Sox shipped him to the Colorado Rockies in an ill-fated deal to try and clear payroll. The Giants subsequently acquired Scutaro from their rivals, and he finished the season with a 2.5 WAR after a great stint with San Francisco.
Scutaro has been worth 2.4, 2.8, and 2.5 WAR in each of the past three seasons, and that’s mainly because he does an excellent job of getting on base. It is difficult to find a middle infielder who can have an OBP near .350, and Scutaro’s success is going to make it more difficult for the Giants to hold onto a player they really want to lock up.
The 37-year-old is understandably high on the Cardinals list, as they need an upgrade at second base and would get that with Scutaro’s above-average bat. The Cardinals actually met with Scutaro’s agent yesterday, and it will be a fun two-team race at the top to watch between two NL powerhouses to sign Scutaro. The Giants have made it especially clear that they want to keep him, but the Cardinals might be willing to pay more due to their need at the position and the lack of clarity regarding Rafael Furcal’s future.
I don’t think the Yankees will be able to land Scutaro, because he will likely want a larger role than being a short-term infield replacement during Alex Rodriguez’s absence.
Morosi and Rosenthal wrote in the piece, “The Cardinals would play Scutaro at second base, enabling them to take their time developing top prospect Kolten Wong, and use Daniel Descalso as a utility man.”
That sounds like the perfect plan.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.