The San Francisco Giants have finally made their first in-season trade of the 2012 season. While it is not for one of the bigger rumored names like Hunter Pence of the Philadelphia Phillies or Brandon League of the Seattle Mariners, the Giants did make a move to improve their infield depth by acquiring veteran infielder Marco Scutaro from the Colorado Rockies for minor league infielder Charlie Culberson and "cash considerations."
A 36-year-old veteran who has previously played for the New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Toronto Blue Jays, and Boston Red Sox, Scutaro has seen most of playing time at second base and shortstop for most of his career. Currently hitting .271 with 47 runs scored and 30 RBIs this season, he has been the subject of many trade rumors since the Rockies are out of contention. At Triple-A Fresno, Culberson was hitting .236 with 10 home runs in 90 games.
With the unknown severity of third baseman Pablo Sandoval's hamstring injury, Scutaro would be asked to fill in at third along with Joaquin Arias if necessary. Experienced at the middle infield positions, he could be asked to start a few games for Brandon Crawford and Ryan Theriot in order to keep them fresh down the stretch.
While the Giants may still make a move for another hitter, something to consider is where Sandoval will see the majority of his playing time for the rest of the season. With backup catcher Hector Sanchez out, Buster Posey currently sees most of his playing time behind the plate. When Sanchez returns, there will likely be a logjam at first base with Posey, Brandon Belt, Aubrey Huff when he returns, and Sandoval. From there, Scutaro could then take on the role of experienced and versatile bench infielder.
While there's no telling as to whether this is the last move the Giants make before the trade deadline, the acquisition of Scutaro is a move which brings in an experienced player who provides quality infield depth, particularly if Sandoval misses any major time. When the competition gets tenser towards the end of the regular season and into the postseason, Scutaro's presence and experience will definitely come in handy for a team with playoff aspirations. Although this news isn't the most exciting trade for the Giants, it is an important move that could be crucial come August and September.
Marco Scutaro traded to Giants, CBSSports.com
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