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November 28, 2009 at 8:03 PM

Marco Scutaro confirms Mariners have approached him

ADDITIONAL NOTE 8:03 p.m.: It seems that today’s story is causing all kinds of fuss down in Texas, where fans are wondering why the Rangers would be pursuing Marco Scutaro at third base when they already have Michael Young. It’s a good question, so I’ve followed up on it and it turns out that Scutaro had teams beyond the four that he mentioned in the Venezuelan story — the Red Sox, Dodgers, Rangers and Mariners — who contacted him and that some wanted him to play third,
He never mentions in the Diario Panorama story which teams wanted him to play third and now, after a conversation with the Venezuelan reporter who wrote the story, it seems there is a chance that it wasn’t the Rangers but another team that wasn’t mentioned in the original story. When I wrote the blog piece this morning, I was going off what he was quoted as saying in the Venezuelan paper. That the Red Sox were looking at him as a shortstop, the Dodgers as a second baseman and “other teams” at third base. By the process of elimination, it appeared those other teams were the Mariners and the Rangers, since he only named four teams as interested in him. But it turns out there were more, so I’ll take the blame for this one, for not assuming there were more teams than what he mentioned in the story.
It does make sense that the M’s would look at him for third base. The Rangers, less so. Hey, with this information, it’s possible the Mariners were inquiring about him for a position other than third base as well, but it’s really the only infield spot he plays that Seattle has a vacancy at right now, Down the road, who knows? So, my apologies. Hope this clears up any confusion.

7:54 a.m.: Just got off the blower with our Venezuelan contact, reporter Augusto Cardenas from Diario Panorama in Venezuela. He spoke to Marco Scutaro down there and the 34-year-old veteran infielder, who posted a .789 OPS with Toronto last season, confirmed the Mariners are one of four teams that have approached him about signing on as a free agent for next season.
The Mariners, Red Sox and Dodgers are also said by Scutaro to be interested. Scutaro told Cardenas the Dodgers want him at second base, the Red Sox at shortstop and the Rangers and Mariners at third base. That makes sense because the Mariners currently have a vacancy at third. However, the flexibility Scutaro offers could make him an intriguing piece should the Mariners eventually make some deals that would open up holes in the middle infield.
Scutaro posted a +4.9 Ultimate Zone Rating as a third baseman for Toronto in 2008 and a +0.9 rating as their shortstop last season. He played a handful of games at other spots, but not enough to bother mentioning his UZR.
The story I linked to quotes Scutaro directly on what I just paraphrased above.
“Boston is interested, like the Dodgers, Seattle and Texas,” Scutaro said. “They have just called to say they have interest, but they haven’t made an offer yet.
“The Dodgers want me to play second base, shortstop in Boston, and there are other teams who have called to play third. Although not close the doors, I would rather be between short and second.”
So, no firm offer yet, if any is even coming. Remember, the M’s are talking to a lot of guys right now because they have holes to fill. We’ll try to give you the names as we hear about them. We heard about this, so we’re passing it along.
Scutaro is a Type A free agent, meaning the Blue Jays would get compensatory draft picks from any team that signs him. The Jays just signed John McDonald and Alex Gonzalez to play the middle infield, so Scutaro is likely not headed back there, thiugh he hasn’t completely given up hope. But he wants a multi-year contract.
Cardenas, it should be remembered, is the guy who broke the news — as first reported in North America on this blog — about the Erik Bedard trade. Here is his twitter account.
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Geoff Baker

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