Alright, so it looks like the Red Sox did, in fact, decide to sign Marco Scutaro. The deal appears to be 2 years with a mutual third year option, and no dollar details are available yet. I’ve been down on the concept of Scutaro to the Sox for a while for fear they would overpay him and he would regress. I’ve guessing both will still happen, but I’m guessing that (a) he won’t be that overpaid, and the Sox have tons of money anyway and (b) regression can be OK. Based on what I know about the Sox front office, you can guarantee that they release that the 2009 Scutaro is a wisp that will never return. Lets examine Scoot for a moment:
- 2009: .354
- 2006-2008 average: .319
- 2009: 13.6%
- 2006-08 average: 10.4%
- 2009: 13.1%
- 2006-08 average: 14.1%
OK, so he walk % went up, his strikeout % went down, both could be fluky, but both what you might expect from an older player, especially one like Scoot who spent much of his early career as a part-timer. Really, he’s only had two seasons with >500 AB (2008-09). So, where will Scutaro stand in 2010? My guess is a wOBA of ~.330 and slash stats of .285/.360/.385. Compare that to, oh, I don’t know, Orlando Hudson (the best best if Pedroia had moved to SS), the Bill James projection for Hudson is ~.280/.353/.409. Now, before you say Hudson is a better fielder, Hudson UZR/150 for 2009 was -3.7 and Scoot’s was 1.0, albeit at different positions. (And for anyone who believes such nonsense, Scutaro has “proved he can play in the AL East” and might be the clutchiest of the 2009-10 free agents).
So, if Scutaro can not collapse (i.e., regress, but not into, lets say, Julio Lugo) and keep SS warm for Jose Iglesias, I am all for it. Scutaro also offers the option that if a better SS were to fall into the Sox lap, he could easily move back into a super utility role (well, he might not like it). The Red Sox can afford to take chances like that and after all my bemoaning of this potentiality, I’m actually pretty comfortable with it … now, the Sox just need to sign/acquire a left fielder.