Well, it’s not the 15 years, three-thousand-million dollars that Marco Scutaro asked for after the championship parade. But it’s a heck of a deal nonetheless for a player who turned 37 two days after the postseason and has made a total of $22 million up to this point of his career.
After a strong second half and a stunning postseason, Scutaro signed a three-year, $20 million deal on Tuesday night. You can find the details in my updated winter meetings story. For now, since it’s kinda late over here, a few scattered thoughts:
— The Giants had three priorities as they entered the offseason: Jeremy Affeldt, Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro.
Affeldt quickly got $18 million over three years. Pagan got $40 million over four years as soon as they came to the winter meetings. Scutaro just got $20 million over three years. Yes, that’s $78 million doled out to three veteran players, but the Giants really, really wanted to get the team back together, and they have.
Will it work? We’ll see. But you can’t blame the Giants for wanting to reunite the group that caught fire in August, and ultimately, that money might not look so large when all the wheeling and dealing is done this offseason. (On that note, it’s amazing how many teams here are scrambling to make their opening moves while the Giants pretty much just completed their roster.)
— What’s next? The Giants want a right-handed bat to complement Gregor Blanco in left field, although we’ll have to see how much money they feel they have left after this deal. Larry Baer wouldn’t reveal an exact target figure, but said the franchise is expecting to sail into the $140 million-range.
The Giants now have the freedom to sit back and cherry-pick a veteran bat or two, maybe find a guy seeking a title, or one who sees an opportunity for playing time in San Francisco. Don’t expect a Nick Swisher type; the $78 million bill mentioned above should rule out the upper classes of the market.
The Giants have talked about bringing Ryan Theriot back, along with his strange hat collection. Theriot handled his August demotion with class, and at this stage of his career, a role as a utility infielder on a contending team is surely one of his better options. The Giants still could use a few extra arms in the bullpen, and will monitor Brian Wilson’s journey into free agency.
Soon, real soon, the focus will turn back to the MVP. The Giants have expressed a desire to sign Buster Posey to a long-term deal and it makes sense for Posey, too, given how quickly he nearly had his career taken away from him not too long ago.
— Aside from the money factor, the Giants don’t necessarily have to worry about the potential of Scutaro and Pagan aging quickly as their contracts play out. Their two best position player prospects are a center fielder (Gary Brown) and a middle infielder (Joe Panik), so there’s a level of coverage there.
— Looking forward to counting Scutaro’s swings-and-misses for a full season.
— Does this look familiar:
There’s your most common lineup from the run to a World Series title, and all of those guys are under team control. Everyone but Pence is under team control through the 2014 season. The Giants will eventually have to start worrying about their pitching staff again, and depending on what happens with Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito after this next season, they could need multiple starters. But that’s an issue for another offseason.
For now, the lineup is set. You can add a right-handed outfield bat, maybe swap Crawford and Blanco, or Belt and somebody. But the players are there. Now it’s up to Bochy to put them back in an order he likes, and for the players to execute. The front office got the band back together. The rest is up to the guys on the field.