Monday, November 30, 2009

Scutaro starts calling the shots?

By

Type A free agency must be an incredible power that changes a man because it sounds like the temptation of playing for big money with a perennial playoff contender might be going to Marco Scutaro's head.

MLBTR recently reported that Scutaro's preferred destinations are the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers because they give him the best chance of playing in the post-season.

When did Scutaro suddenly decide to start calling the shots?

Predominantly a career journeyman, Scutaro hit career highs in all offensive categories in 2009 and did a decent job fielding during his first two full seasons in the majors as a full-time shortstop. He's expected to command a hefty contract from the highest bidder on the market, but I wonder if all this attention has made him a little jaded.

With six years of service time under his belt, it's not as though Scutaro has had a long and tortured time in the majors like his former teammate Roy Halladay. Unlike Doc, Scoots played in both the division and league championship series with the Athletics in 2006.

Don't get me wrong - Marco Scutaro was a great player for the Blue Jays and after the year he put up this season, he rightfully deserves a big paycheque. However, is he really in the position to start making demands to sign with a team who is a perennial contender?

Perhaps Scutaro should speak to Roy Halladay about how long you have to play on a losing team before you can start making demands to play for a winning team.

12 comments:

  1. I can't blame him. The guy just wants to win. Nobody wants to play for a losing team. If that means sacrificing a million dollars or so to play for the Dodgers rather than say the Nationals, I'd probably pick the Dodgers too.

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  2. Theo Epstien=Genius

    He will sign at least two type A free agents, yet somehow improve his draft picks. How so you ask? Well if reports are correct, this is what will happen:

    1) Sign Matt Holliday and lose their 1st round (29th overall pick)
    2) Sign Scutaro and lose their 2nd round (maybe 80-90th overall pick)
    3) Let Bay walk and get a first round and a supplimental first round pick, and that first round pick is almost guaranteed to be better than the one they had to give up to sign Holliday.

    Is it just me, or is their something wrong with this system?

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  3. I agree it sounds a bit weird, especially because as Jays fans, we think of it in context of Halladay saying the same thing (and these are clearly not equal players). But I'm just happy for Scoots - he did more than expected while in T.O., and now is probably the first time that someone from the media has ever asked him (in a context where the question appears to matter) where he sees himself playing in the future. As Nick above points out, pretty much any player is going to answer that they prefer a playoff-bound team. It's just that players who suck never really get asked in the first place.
    ("So Kevin Millar, where do you see yourself next year?" - "Really? Anywhere that I get paid. Go ask someone else.")

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  4. FAs are allowed to make whatever demands they want, but if they're not careful they can end up as Abreu did last year - with a less than endearing contract and one year older the next time you try to get a big contract. Edgar Renteria lucked out last year when he signed early for way too much money, Scutaro should learn to do the same. The earlier he signs, the more money he'll get - and the better the chances are that those big money teams will need his services. People forget that the Red Sox have basically won as much as they have without a real offensive force at short stop, so why should they be in a rush to get one now? And if you could choose between Miguel Tejada and Marco Scutaro, who would you choose? Miguel who is happy with a 1 year deal, or Marco who demands 2-3 years? He needs to be careful. What's wrong with signing with the Cubs, TB, or LAA anyway? Don't they have a shot?

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  5. Nick, I don't wish any ill will towards Marco Scutaro at all. I didn't want this post to be a Scutaro lambasting, but I just think he needs to pay his dues for a few more years before he can starting making those kinds of demands. Then again ... what the hell do I know? I've never played a day of major league baseball (except on Playstation) in my life, so maybe I am not the best person to judge who has and hasn't paid their dues.

    Peter D, I don't know how he does it ... but that move is genius. It's a good move for the Sox to sign Holliday anyway - he's a better player, and letting Bay walk nets them a better pick anyway.

    QJays, we can thank J.P. Ricciardi for Marco Scutaro - one of the best trades during his tenure. You're right - it's probably the first time anyone has taken interest in where he wants to play next.

    And watch Kevin Millar sign with the Yankees ...

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  6. Maybe Millar will man first and Tex can give him the odd day off. Technically as a cleanup hitter (as he was in Toronto) Millar is obviously much more valuable. If the Yankees want to get serious about winning they need Millar.

    In case it needs clearing up, that was sarcasm.

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  7. Mat, I am still convinced the Giants were high when they offered Renteria that contract. SanFran has the holy trifecta of some of the worst contracts in baseball (Renteria, Zito, Rowand).

    Yes, I agree that the sooner Scutaro signs ... the better. Luckily for him, the SS free agent pool is fairly shallow so he can afford to hold out for a better deal if he so chooses. Orlando Cabrera and Miguel Tejada are his only real competition. Personally, I'd go with Tejada because he'd probably be willing to play for less money.

    Mattt, maybe Millar can be the next good luck charm like Eric Hinske. Except instead of that team winning the World Series, they are doomed to finish in 4th or 5th place in the division.

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  8. I'm pretty sure anyone signing Millar has basically conceeded and is looking to finish fourth or fifth. Think he'll get another contract?

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  9. Oh probably ... I read on MLBTR that a team was looking at him, I just can't remember which one.

    He'll likely get a minor league deal at least, or maybe move to the NL as a pinch hitter specialist like Matty Stairs.

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  10. But without the hitting that stairs provides...

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  11. Here's the quote:

    "Boston is interested, like the Dodgers, Seattle and Texas," Scutaro said. "They have just called to say they have interest, but they haven't made an offer yet."

    Someone asked him who was interested in his free agency and where he'd prefer to play. Was he supposed to lie?

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  12. Anon, no I wouldn't expect Scutaro to lie, I'm just saying that I don't really think a player of Scutaro's stature at the time could really call the shots like he wants to play for a playoff contender.

    But he signed with the Red Sox so I guess it's all a moot point anyway.

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