Marco Scutaro is 'bout to get his bling on.

Marco Scutaro Is About To Become The Highest-Priced Above Average Player of All Time

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Marco Scutaro is about to become baseball’s version of Larry Brown.

You remember Larry Brown, don’t you?

(No, not the former Sixers’ coach/troubadour.)

I’m talking about the former Cowboys cornerback who intercepted two Neil O’Donnell passes in Super Bowl XXX, then scored a huge free agent pay-day based solely on his good fortune in that one game.

And while Brown’s success in Dallas’ Super Bowl win over the Steelers was really as much luck as anything else, his situation is comparable to that of baseball’s newest superstar, Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro.

Since his arrival to the Giants in a trade with Colorado, Scutaro has been nothing short of remarkable.

In 61 games and 268 plate appearances with San Francisco, Scutaro hit .362/.385/.473, with an OPS+ of 145. He has surpassed that production in the playoffs, winning NLCS MVP honors after hitting .500/.533/.607 with 14 hits in 28 at bats. He has also played brilliant defense.

And with so few infield options available on the free agent market this year, a guy like Scutaro, who can play second, shortstop and third (YOU HEAR THAT PHILLIES FANS!!! THIRD BASE!!! THIRD BASE!!! THIRD BASE!!!… panting heavily… knees getting weaker… need… a… third… baseman… soooooooo… badly!) all of a sudden becomes a very palatable option.

And it’s true, Marco Scutaro is in one of those zones where the baseball, as Fox announcer Tim McCarver so creatively put it last night, looks like a watermelon at the plate.

 

 

But looking a little closer at Scutaro’s career numbers reveal a nice player, but not someone to whom you want to plop down gobs of cash.

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2002 26 NYM NL 27 38 36 2 8 0 1 1 6 0 1 0 11 .222 .216 .361 .577 52
2003 27 NYM NL 48 91 75 10 16 4 0 2 6 2 0 13 14 .213 .333 .347 .680 81
2004 28 OAK AL 137 477 455 50 124 32 1 7 43 0 0 16 58 .273 .297 .393 .690 79
2005 29 OAK AL 118 423 381 48 94 22 3 9 37 5 2 36 48 .247 .310 .391 .701 86
2006 30 OAK AL 117 423 365 52 97 21 6 5 41 5 1 50 66 .266 .350 .397 .747 96
2007 31 OAK AL 104 379 338 49 88 13 0 7 41 2 1 35 40 .260 .332 .361 .693 88
2008 32 TOR AL 145 592 517 76 138 23 1 7 60 7 2 57 65 .267 .341 .356 .697 88
2009 33 TOR AL 144 680 574 100 162 35 1 12 60 14 5 90 75 .282 .379 .409 .789 108
2010 34 BOS AL 150 695 632 92 174 38 0 11 56 5 4 53 71 .275 .333 .388 .721 92
2011 35 BOS AL 113 445 395 59 118 26 1 7 54 4 2 38 36 .299 .358 .423 .781 110
2012 36 TOT NL 156 683 620 87 190 32 4 7 74 9 4 40 49 .306 .348 .405 .753 99
2012 36 COL NL 95 415 377 47 102 16 3 4 30 7 3 27 35 .271 .324 .361 .684 73
2012 36 SFG NL 61 268 243 40 88 16 1 3 44 2 1 13 14 .362 .385 .473 .859 145
11 Yrs 1259 4926 4388 625 1209 246 18 75 478 53 22 428 533 .276 .340 .391 .731 94
162 Game Avg. 162 634 565 80 156 32 2 10 62 7 3 55 69 .276 .340 .391 .731 94
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

Obviously, Scutaro is a very nice player. He’s an above average player with a career slash line of .276/.340/.391, with 18 career HRs in 1259 games.

But he is not the player we’ve been seeing for the last two weeks. He’s not an unstoppable hit machine. He’s a decent infielder nearing the end of his career.

This is not meant to demean what Scutaro is doing right now. At 37 years old, this will undoubtedly be the shining achievement of his career, even if the Giants don’t end up winning the World Series. And he certainly would be an upgrade at third base for the Phillies over what they have now, especially because his splits against righties and lefties are historically pretty even.

I Split G GS PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS BAbip tOPS+
vs RHP as RHB 1104 3593 3210 893 179 15 49 356 45 18 295 396 .278 .339 .389 .728 .301 99
vs LHP as RHB 563 1333 1178 316 67 3 26 122 8 4 133 137 .268 .342 .396 .738 .284 102
vs LH Starter 382 351 1562 1369 214 379 82 2 30 165 8 4 159 146 .277 .352 .405 .757 .290 107
vs RH Starter 877 759 3364 3019 411 830 164 16 45 313 45 18 269 387 .275 .334 .385 .719 .300 97
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/25/2012.

So the Phillies should make a play for him… but only for the right price.

Only a one year deal, possibly with an option, would make sense for the Phils. Anything longer than that and you’re paying a 40-year old guy to play baseball for a team that already has age issues. And one would think Scutaro’s Ty Cobb impersonation isn’t going to last and will likely price him out of the Phillies’ budget and long-term plans.

Besides, San Francisco will likely make the same kind of push to re-sign him after the season like they did with Aubrey Huff and Pat Burrell after their World Series win in 2010. And there are indications Marco would like to stay, anyway.

But someone is going to pay this guy a lot of money this offseason and make him a multi-year commitment based on his inflated postseason numbers.

That team should not be the Phillies.

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