(thanks to NECN.com for the video)The dust has somewhat settled, and many are starting to turn on their initial gut reaction which opposed the Scutaro deal. Cafardo ball-washed Scutaro in the globe this morning, and slowly but surely, other blogs and red sox fans are starting to substantiate in their own minds, a false level of optimism for Scutaro.
J.P Ricciardi, the Worcester native, provided some inside perspective on the Scutaro deal in an attempt to make me feel better....
"He's one of the best shortstops, period," Ricciardi said. "He's a guy that's going to be able to play at this level until he's 37 or 38. He works at it. Look, this is a great signing. He's a really smart player. He's a great base runner. He keeps improving (his on base percentage has risen from .332 to .341 to .379 the last three seasons). He grinds at-bats (he led all shortstops in pitches per at-bat). He could bat leadoff and they could let Dustin Pedoria bat third. He can do a lot of things." ..
I'm sure Marco Scutaro is a great guy and works hard, but as T Murph put it during a morning conversation... "players don't get better when they get old, unless they're juicing" (keep in mind, Scutaro was an utility player throughout his prime years)... and in true fashion, T Murph even snuck in a zinger...."if Ricciardi really wanted to make us feel better, he would have traded us Halladay."
Now we're not giving him Julio Lugo money, but the contract structure does bother me a bit as well. The addition of a team, player, and buyout option for a third year will inevitably end up costing the Red Sox money on a 37 year old short stop with diminished range and limited offensive abilities. Talk OBP all you want to get on Theo's good side Ricciardi, but that's not enough to convince me this is anything more than a more risky short term fix, more so than resigning a younger Gonzo at lower dollars.
Now the real risk shifts to Iglesias, a 19 year old kid who now has the weight of the Red Sox future success on his shoulders. We all saw what that did to Lars Anderson this past year. If he Iglesias turns bust, we'll all be complaining about an aging short stop with potential solutions on the horizon in just a year or two.
In addition, Theo chimed in yesterday with: "We still have a lot to do".
Damn straight Theo, damn straight. I think part of the public's problem with the Scutaro deal is we're all expecting a big splash during the offseason, and as much as they tried to make a big deal out of the Marco Scutaro press conference, it's simply plugging Boston's constant hole at shortstop yet again.....and as of right now, I'm convinced it's a more expensive plug than Gonzo without additional benefits.
Let's all pray Scutaro starts fast out of the gate, or else he'll turn into Rent-A-Wreck fairly quickly in this town.