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.