The World Champion San Francisco Giants came into the off-season with a couple of key free agents that they wanted to retain. It may have cost them money money than they had anticipated (probably a lot more), but they have got their men.
Giants GM Brian Sabean came to terms on Monday with center fielder Angel Pagan and late Tuesday night he agreed to sign second baseman Marco Scutaro to a new contract as well. Scutaro’s deal will cover three years and be worth $20 million.
Scutaro is 37 years old and the Giants reportedly did not want to go to three years, but the two sides settled on less money in terms of average annual value in order to add the third year to the contract.
This is an awfully big commitment to a player not only of Scutaro’s age, but with his track record. If the Giants think they’ll get the guy who was worth 2.1 WAR over the final 60 games of the season, they’ll very likely be disappointed. He’s a solid player and he can start at second, short, or third, but he’s unspectacular in almost every aspect of his game.
Scutaro produced a tremendous .362/.385/.473 line over 243 at bats after being traded by Colorado to the Giants at the trade deadline last summer. prior to the deal, however, he had played at a much more pedestrian .274/.321/.361 line; much closer (though slightly below) his career averages.
Anytime a team wins the World Series, there is a natural tendency to both want to keep the team together and to reward the guys that helped get you your rings. Both Scutaro and Pagan played major roles in the post season success of the ball club and both have been rewarded with contracts that are at least somewhat questionable.
The deal with Scutaro certainly won’t cripple the franchise, but it does have a real shot to look pretty bad in year three, and maybe even year two as the veteran is already in his late 30s. For 2013, however, Scutaro will likely play a very reasonable second base and not hurt the team either at the plate or in the field.
That seems a bit underwhelming for a guy making close to $7 million per year.