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Red Sox notebook

Scutaro deal to Rockies off

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / January 21, 2012
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The Red Sox considered trading shortstop Marco Scutaro to the Colorado Rockies yesterday before both sides backed off the deal.

According to the Denver Post, the Rockies were interested in obtaining Scutaro to play second base and hit second in their lineup. The Red Sox were motivated by saving $6 million that could be used elsewhere, presumably to improve the pitching staff.

“Nothing to report,’’ Sox general manager Ben Cherington said.

Scutaro was a valuable player last season, hitting .299 with a .358 on-base percentage. He started 102 games at shortstop.

The Sox have infielders Mike Aviles and Nick Punto on the roster, but Aviles has not been an everyday shortstop since 2008 when he started 89 games for the Royals as a rookie. Punto can also play there, but he started only 32 games (at all positions) last season for the Cardinals.

The Sox continue to have high hopes for 22-year-old Cuban prospect Jose Iglesias, but he has hit .261 with a .624 OPS in two minor league seasons. Though advanced defensively, Iglesias needs further development at the plate.

Cherington said Thursday that he was open to the idea of improving the rotation, but also is cognizant of baseball’s luxury tax threshold, which the Sox are almost sure to go over again next season.

Money saved by trading Scutaro (or another player) could be used to pursue a pitcher.

Veteran righthander Roy Oswalt remains available and would represent a significant upgrade.

The White Sox also have interest in dealing righthander Gavin Floyd, who will make $7 million this season.

Minor adjustments

The Red Sox made only a few changes to their minor league coaching staff.

Arnie Beyeler (Triple A Pawtucket) and Kevin Boles (Double A Portland) will return as managers. Billy McMillon was promoted from low Single A Greenville to Single A Salem. Carlos Febles was promoted from Lowell to Salem.

Bruce Crabbe will return to Lowell, where he managed in 2006 and 2010, from Salem.

The Sox brought back Gerald Perry as Pawtucket’s hitting coach. He was on the Oakland staff last season after spending four years in the Sox organization.

Former Sox catcher Rich Gedman, the hitting coach at Lowell last season, was moved up to Salem. The Sox also hired Darren Fenster as the pitching coach at Greenville. He spent the last six seasons as a coach at Rutgers.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.

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