By Sean McAdam
The news that Juan Uribe has agreed to a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for somewhere between 21-22 million could indirectly impact the Red Sox.
With Uribe gone and the Giants having passed on Edgar Renteria's 2011 option, the world champions are now without a experienced major-league shortstop on their roster.
Uribe's departure has resulted in a lot of specultion that the Giants could trade for Tampa Bay's Jason Bartlett. The Rays are prepared to go with the younger (and cheaper) Reid Brignac at short, and as such, are listening to offers for Bartlett.
Free agent Miguel Tejada, obtained by San Diego at the trade deadline, is another name associated with the Giants, who did well signing a number of inexpensive free agents last season.
But don't be surprised if the Giants call the Red Sox and ask about Marco Scutaro.
Scutaro's name was in play at the GM meetings two weeks ago, and though the Giants didn't approach the Red Sox directly about Scutaro -- Uribe was still their Plan A at the time -- they were asking around for reports on Scutaro.
Though Bartlett is four years younger than Scutaro, he'll be a more expensive acquisiton -- and earn more in 2011, too. Scutaro will earn a 5 million base for 2011 while Barltett, who made 4 million last season, is eligible for salary arbitration and will almost certainly get more than a million dollar raise through the process.
And though Bartlett has been the better player -- he received MVP votes in 2008 and was an All-Star in 2009 -- he slumped significantly in 2010. Bartlett's OPS dipped more than 200 points and his 2010 OPS of .675 was lower than Scutaro's .721.
Scutaro's range factor was higher than Bartlett despite dealing with a shoulder injury which limited him for much of the season.What would the Red Sox ask in return for Scutaro? Ideally, they'd like some bullpen help in return and the Giants are deep in relievers (though two are ex-Red Sox: Ramon Ramirez and Javier Lopez).
Presumably, the Sox would be prepared to have Jed Lowrie open the season as their starting shortstop, with Jose Iglesias, who sparkled in the Arizona Fall League, ready to compete for playing time by the All-Star break.