NEW YORK -- Marco Scutaro left the Red Sox before the 2012 season. Mark Melancon left a few months after it ended.
This week, they're National League stars, attaining heights that seemed improbable a year or so ago.
Scutaro was dealt to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for Clayton Mortensen weeks before spring training began in 2012. At the time, it was viewed as a cost-saving deal, enabling the Red Sox to allocate the money for outfielder Cody Ross and other needs.
Then, in July, with the Rockies hopelessly out of contention, the team traded him to the San Francisco. Scutaro became the Giants' everyday second baseman and when the club swept the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, was named the MVP.
Now, Scutaro is one of the Giants' All-Star representatives.
"I'm just very happy and very blessed for all these opportunities I have in my career," said Scutaro, "and very thankful."
Scutaro couldn't have imagined all that has happened him to him over the last season and a half when the Red Sox dealt him.
"I went to Boston to win and unfortunately, it didn't happen," said Scutaro. "It's hard to predict in baseball what's going to happen. You try to do your best, but sometimes it doesn't work. But things happen for a reason.
"But to be honest, especially what happened last year . . . I was with a last-place team. If anybody had told me in early July that I was going to be in the World Series, I would have been, like, "Yeah, right -- whatever.' But I guess God had a plan for me and it was a very special year for me last year."
Melancon, meanwhile, bottomed out at the beginning of 2012, pitching poorly enough to be sent to Pawtucket 2 1/2 weeks into season. He didn't return until mid-June and finished with a career-worst 6.20 ERA, although he pitched well in September.
He was included as virtually a throw-in in the deal that brought Joel Hanrahan from Pittsburgh.
With the Pirates, Melancon has resurrected his career with a spectacular season. In 45 appearances, he's allowed just four earned runs for a 0.81 ERA.
Melancon credits a more aggressive approach on the mound to his turnaround this season.
"I think I was taking (a starter's) approach for a little while," said Melancon, "and you can't have that starter mentality as a reliever. It's totally flipping the switch. I don't know if that was said to be or I just figured it out, to go into attack mode."
Melancon remains close with some former Red Sox teammates and was looking forward to catching up with Red Sox All-Stars David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Clay Buchholz.
"They're special guys," said Melancon, "and they always will be. I went to David's foundation (fundraiser) in the Dominican this off-season. Pedey is definitely if not the greatest, then top two or three greatest teammates I've ever had."