Scutaro headed to Beantown

scutarocard.jpgAs soon as Marco Scutaro qualified as a Type A free agent, it appeared extremely unlikely that he would return to the Blue Jays this offseason. On Thursday night, Scutaro agree to terms on a two-year contract with the Red Sox, according to an industry source.

With Scutaro headed to Toronto’s American League East rivals in Boston, the Jays are now in line to receive a pair of compensatory picks in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. Toronto gains a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds and — unless the Red Sox sign a higher-ranking free agent this winter — the Jays also gain a first-round pick from Boston.

It is fair to assume that the Blue Jays did not anticipate Scutaro developing into a Type A free agent when the club acquired him in a trade with Oakland in November of 2007. Toronto sent Minor League pitchers Graham Godfrey and Kristian Bell to the A’s for Scutaro, who was intended to be a super sub off the bench for the Jays.

Scutaro wound up playing 289 games in his two season with the Jays. Last winter, Toronto went looking for a shortstop, trying to land Rafael Furcal. When the hunt came up empty, the Jays handed the full-time role to Scutaro not knowing what to expect. In the first full-time role of his career, Scutaro thrived.

He drew 90 walks against 75 strikeouts in 2009, posting a .282 average with a .379 on-base while playing on a sore right heel for two months toward the end of the year. Scutaro belted 12 homers, swiped 14 bases, drove in 60 RBIs and crossed home plate 100 times — all while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense.

The Blue Jays discussed a two-year contract extension with Scutaro, but he wanted to test the waters this winter. It’s a thin market for shortstops, so coming off a career year, he was in a prime position to capitalize. Toronto signed shortstops Alex Gonzalez and John McDonald, knowing Scutaro’s departure was pretty much a given.

But, the Jays get two picks for Scutaro and will likely get another sandwich pick if Rod Barajas declines arbitration and signs with a new team as expected. That would give Toronto nine picks within the first three rounds, and that’s not something new GM Alex Anthopoulos is going to complain about.



Good luck To Scutaro in Boston, hope he gets a ring. Gotta like those draft picks though, 9 in the first 3 rounds. Combine that will what the prospects we might pick up from Halladay and if we draft well, we could go a long way in replenishing our minors.

Scutaro receives a $1 million signing bonus and a $5 million salary in 2010 and 2011, a source told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney. The third year carries options of $6 million (team) and $3 million (Scutaro), with a buyout of $1.5 million.

I’d expect Mr. & Mrs. Scutaro are doing cartwheels…………

It will mean nothing if the Jays aren’t willing to spend the money to actually sign those draft picks.

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