Battling the Cardinals for (or at least the fear of the Cardinals swooping in to sign) Marco Scutaro has apparently cost the Giants dearly.
San Francisco seems to have vastly overpaid for a singles hitting, aging middle infielder. And, according to the west coast media, it may greatly impact the Giants' ability to fill out the rest of their roster as they try to defend their World Series championship.
According to csnbayarea.com, San Francisco was close to a two-year deal with former Cardinals flychaser Ryan Ludwick. But the Scutaro contract has forced them to pull the proposal from the table. The report goes on to say that the Giants don't even think they can afford rumored St. Louis OF target Scott Hairston. So they'll likely have to go without their highest off-season priority: Finding a righty bat for the outfield.
I'd say that the bad news for the Giants is good news for the Redbirds in the sense that $8 million a season for two years is waaaaaaay to much for Scutaro. If St. Louis was interested, GM John Mozeliak dodged a bullet. But if it's true that San Francisco was close to a two-year Ludwick deal, that means a potential blow to the Central Division rival Reds may have been averted as well.
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Talk out of Cincinnati yesterday is that things are going well for the Reds in negotiations with Ludwick. So, by knocking the Giants out of the competition, the Cardinals may have hurt themselves at home.