Red Sox exercise Marco Scutaro’s $6 million option

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One of the few Red Sox who failed to wilt in September, Marco Scutaro was rewarded Sunday when his $6 million option for 2012 was picked up by the club.

The move is the first made by Ben Cherington since he replaced Theo Epstein as Boston’s GM.

Scutaro hit .387/.438/.581 with 21 RBI in 93 at-bats during the final month of the season and finished with an overall line of .299/.358/.423 in his second year in Boston. He was pushed into a part-time role for a spell by Jed Lowrie’s hot start and he also missed a month with a strained oblique, but he had the seventh highest OPS among the 23 players to start appear in at least 100 games at shortstop last season.

Scutaro is 36 now and probably shouldn’t be counted on to start 130 games in 2012, but the Red Sox will be content to pair him with Lowrie at shortstop. In the unlikely event that they make a run at Jose Reyes, Scutaro would be tradeable at his modest salary.