SAN FRANCISCO -- Marco Scutaro has played 11 years of Major League Baseball, but never has he had a season like his 61-game campaign with the Giants last year.
Scutaro hit .362 for San Francisco, quickly commandeering the starting second position in the field and in the lineup, and parlayed his performance into a three-year, $20 million contract that far surpasses any of the veteran's previous deals.
"I was looking for the best contract," Scutaro said honestly. "It may be my last contract, because of my age."
Scutaro, who passed his physical earlier Friday, is acutely aware that Game 7 of the 2015 World Series could very well fall on his 40th birthday.
"Well Omar (Vizquel) played until he was 55," Scutaro joked. "Why not me?"
For a man whose career earnings barely break the $22-million plateau, the new contract might bump him up a tax bracket, but it wasn't quite what the Venezuelan-born infielder had in mind.
"I was looking for three-thousand-million," Scutaro reiterated. "They didn't get close."
Forgoing money for a chance to win, though, is a concept Scutaro is plenty familiar with. He signed a two-year, $10.5 million contract with the Red Sox in 2009 and admitted leaving money on the table in doing so.
Instead of a trip to the playoffs, Scutaro claims only to have gone bald in Boston. Sporting what seemed to be significantly more hair Friday and popping chunks of honeydew melon into his mouth, Scutaro laughed.
"I have no 3-2 sliders. I don't have to get hit by a truck. I don't have to watch video every day or talk with (the media) all the time."
Until he reports to spring training in February, Scutaro plans to remain stress free. It helps that he's keeping things light. When a U.S. Embassy security guard recognized him in Miami, but couldn't quite place him, Scutaro offered a helping hand.
"You probably know me from Hollywood," Scutaro joked before revealing his true identity.
His true identity was revealed to the Bay Area when he turned down an offer worth more per season from St. Louis to re-join the Giants. It was hardly a spurn, but it couldn't have felt good for the Cardinals, who he torched for 14 hits en route to the NLCS MVP Award. His .500 series followed the gruesome Game 2 collision with Matt Holliday, and while Scutaro had nothing but positive things to say about his talks with the Cardinals, the thought of hitting in front of Holliday registered.
"I told them if they sign me," Scutaro said. "I would kick his ass every day. They probably thought, 'He’d better go to San Francisco.'"
He did, and if all goes as planned, he'll be soaking up raindrops from the middle of AT&T Park's diamond for the next three seasons.
"It all depends on health," Scutaro said, "I think I can play for the next three years. And probably with more hair."
Venezuelan fans might lose some hair over his intentions not to represent his country in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, though they'll take solace in sluggers like Miguel Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval.
"Gotta save my bullets," Scutaro said of his decision.
Giants fans are hoping the bullets will be flying by the time the Giants accept their 2012 championship rings prior to their home opener April 5 -- with Holliday and the visiting St. Louis Cardinals watching.