Published — Thursday 6 December 2012
Last update 6 December 2012 3:06 am
SAN FRANCISCO: Second baseman Marco Scutaro is staying in San Francisco, right where he wanted to be.
The NL championship series MVP agreed to a $20 million, three-year contract with the Giants late Tuesday. Vice president of baseball operations Bobby Evans said only a physical was left to finalize the deal.
“He was a priority from Day One,” Evans said. “He was a key part of our 2012 success and served as a tremendous veteran presence.” Earlier in the evening, Scutaro had been weighing a two-year contract offer that included a vesting option — but he was seeking a three-year deal to remain with the World Series champions. The Giants and Scutaro’s representatives met Tuesday at the winter meetings in Nashville, Tennessee In other moves, the Giants exercised 2014 contract options on manager Bruce Bochy and GM Brian Sabean.
The 37-year-old Scutaro batted .362 with three homers and 44 RBIs in 61 regular-season games with the Giants after he was acquired in a July 27 trade with Colorado. He frequently said how much he enjoyed playing for San Francisco and that he hoped he would return.
The Giants suddenly have quite a familiar roster returning after making two big moves in as many days to keep their own free agents. On Monday, center fielder Angel Pagan agreed to a $ 40 million, four-year contract.
Left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt received an $18 million, three-year contract on Nov. 14.
Retaining Affeldt, Pagan and Scutaro were among the top priorities for Sabean and Evans this offseason.
Giants CEO Larry Baer considered it a productive winter meetings — and offseason so far — for his busy club after already re-signing Affeldt last month. Winning the World Series for the second time in three seasons put San Francisco behind on its offseason plan again, though everyone in the front office would say that’s a great problem to have.
“Culture is important, and Marco is a wonderful influence with our players, especially the Latin players,” Baer said.
The 31-year-old Pagan batted .288 with eight home runs, 56 RBIs and a San Francisco-best 15 triples in his first season with the Giants. Pagan said late in the season and again after the World Series parade that he hoped to return, but wanted to test free agency and sought some job security in the form of a multiyear deal.
Victorino, Red Sox agree
to $39 million, 3-year deal
In Nashville, Tennessee, the fast-moving Boston Red Sox made their second splashy move of the winter meetings, agreeing Tuesday to a $39 million, three-year contract with free-agent outfielder Shane Victorino.
A day after giving Mike Napoli a $39 million, three-year deal, the Red Sox made Victorino their fourth free-agent addition of the offseason following agreements with outfielder Jonny Gomes and catcher David Ross.
Nicknamed The Flyin’ Hawaiian, Victorino tweeted earlier Tuesday that he planned to spend the day in Maui on a snorkeling trip aboard the Alii Nui catamaran.
“Just agreed to join the Boston (at)RedSox in the middle of paradise,” he tweeted later on. “(hash)BLESSED!!! Can’t wait to get to Boston!”
Victorino would earn $ 13 million annually. The deal is subject to a physical, as is Boston’s agreement with Napoli.
“Added another great addition to our team!” Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester tweeted.
Victorino hit a combined .255 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs last season for Philadelphia and the Los Angeles Dodgers, who acquired him in late July. He also stole a career-high 39 bases.
A two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, Victorino turned 32 on Friday. He also had been pursued by the Cleveland Indians, who offered a $44 million, four-year contract.
Victorino played mostly center field for the Phillies and shifted to left with the Dodgers. He likely would play right field for the Red Sox but could shift to center if Jacoby Ellsbury is traded or leaves as a free agent after next season.
“It’s probably the toughest right field in baseball to play, just in terms of the space to cover,” new Boston manager John Farrell said earlier in the day. “So that range comes into play. And yet you try to combine the best range available along with offensive production. It might not be your prototypical right fielder where it’s a power bat because we do value the defense in that area. That’s not to exclude anyone, but defense takes a high priority, in that position at Fenway particularly.”
Boston finished last in the AL East and is trying to boost its offense. Napoli, an All-Star catcher with Texas this year, appears likely to shift his primary position.
“We see him as a first baseman primarily, but with the ability to catch,” Farrell said. “We would have him catch in spring training early on, but then certainly make sure that we’ve got enough reps at first base for not only him to feel comfortable there, but for us as well.”