3. Marco Scutaro finds the fountain of youth, wins NLCS MVP
Date: July 27, 2012
To Giants: 2B Marco Scutaro, cash
To Rockies: IF Charlie Culberson
With the aforementioned Freddy Sanchez out for the season following back surgery and the likes of Ryan Theriot, Emmanuel Burriss, Joaquin Arias and Charlie Culberson providing little in the way of production in his absence, second base was a clear area of need for the Giants leading up to the 2012 deadline.
They settled on sending Culberson to the Colorado Rockies in exchange for 36-year-old Marco Scutaro, who was hitting .271/.324/.361 with 23 extra-base hits in 95 games at the time of the trade.
After what must have been a pit stop at the fountain of youth on his way to San Francisco, Scutaro hit a blistering .362/.385/.473 with 20 extra-base hits in 61 games the rest of the way.
He didn’t stop there, hitting .328 with a .377 on-base percentage during the postseason, including a 14-for-28 showing against the St. Louis Cardinals that won him NLCS MVP honors.
Despite his age, he was re-signed to a three-year, $20 million deal during the offseason, and he made the NL All-Star team in 2013 with a 109 OPS+ over 127 games.
He played just five more games total over the final two years of the deal, though, as bringing him back on a multi-year pact ended up being an ill-advised move.
Nevertheless, the Giants probably don’t win the 2012 World Series without Scutaro, and that’s enough to earn him the No. 3 spot on this list.