Extra Bases

Scutaro signing official

The major announcement turned out to be a poorly kept secret. The Red Sox, as expected, formally announced the signing of former Toronto shortstop Marco Scutaro to a two-year contract with club and player options for 2012.

No terms were disclosed by the team, but it was previously reported by the Globe that he will receive a minimum of $12.5 million over the length of the deal.

Scutaro, 34, set career highs last season with the Blue Jays in several categories, including batting (.282), on-base percentage (.379), hits (162), home runs (12), runs (100), and walks (90).

Notably, especially given general manager Theo Epstein’s statement earlier this offseason that the Red Sox have to be a more consistent road team, Scutaro batted .322 with a .405 on-base percentage away from home, finishing eighth and fourth respectively among American League batters.

In 143 starts at shortstop in 2009, Scutaro, regarded as an above-average fielder by scouts and defensive metrics, posted a .984 fielding percentage (10 errors), the third-best mark among AL shortstops.

Even if he does not meet last season’s standard should provide an upgrade at the position for the Red Sox. Last year’s primary shortstops, Nick Green, Julio Lugo, and Alex Gonzalez, combined for a .235 average (26th in the majors), a .297 OBP (25th), and slugged .358 (20th) in 2009.

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The Globe’s Peter Abraham will be back in this space later tonight for more from today’s press conference during which Scutaro was introduced.

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