Red Sox expected to pick up Marco Scutaro’s option for 2012

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New Red Sox GM Ben Cherington has plenty of important decisions awaiting him this offseason, but the status of Marco Scutaro looks like an easy call.

Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald was told by “a source familiar with the Red Sox thinking” that the club is leaning toward picking up Scutaro’s $6 million option for 2012.

Scutaro, who turns 36 on Sunday, batted .299/.358/.423 with seven home runs, 54 RBI and a .781 OPS over 445 plate appearances this season. While the Red Sox collapsed down the stretch, Scutaro certainly did his part to keep them afloat, batting .387 with two homers, 21 RBI and a 1.019 OPS in September. Jed Lowrie was bothered by a lingering shoulder injury this season while Jose Iglesias struggled in the minors, so bringing Scutaro back would allow the Red Sox to focus on upgrading in other areas.

The Red Sox would owe $1.5 million in the form of a buyout if they decline the option, but Scutaro also has a $3 million player option to return in 2012.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.