SAN FRANCISCO — Marco Scutaro is back on a major league contract thanks to the San Francisco Giants, even if he never plays again.
The Giants re-signed the second baseman to a major league deal that pays him the $6 million he was previously owed this year before back surgery derailed his career.
The Giants announced Wednesday they signed the 39-year-old MVP of the 2012 NL championship series to match his previous contract through the 2015 season. He was designated for assignment and later released Jan. 28 as he recovered.
In December, Dr. Michael Wang performed a fusion to alleviate the troublesome area in Scutaro's spine. The Giants said then it would be four to six months before doctors determine whether Scutaro can play baseball again.
He was placed on the disabled list and transferred to the 60-day DL. Scutaro continues to rehab from the surgery near his Florida home.
General manager Bobby Evans said it was important to the club and Scutaro that he could retire as a Giant when that time comes. The team said Scutaro has "hopes of maintaining a quality of life and be pain-free with his family."
"Marco's performance in the second half of 2012, the NLCS and World Series will forever connect him to the Giants," Evans said in a text message.
A journeyman infielder who became the surprising 2012 NLCS MVP, Scutaro played in only five games last season — all in July — because of recurring back problems that landed him on the disabled list for good July 25. Scutaro had known he might need the operation in order to give him a quality of life even just in his day-to-day schedule off the baseball field.
In parts of 13 major league seasons with the Giants, Oakland, New York Mets, Boston, Toronto and Colorado, Scutaro is a career .277 hitter with 77 home runs and 509 RBIs with 269 doubles and 21 triples.
Scutaro put up remarkable numbers in 2012 after joining the Giants from the Colorado Rockies on July 27. He batted .362 with three homers and 44 RBIs in 61 regular-season games with the Giants.
In a seven-game 2012 NL Championship Series against St. Louis, Scutaro had six multihit games and matched an LCS record with 14 hits.
He batted .500 (14 for 28) with four RBIs in the NLCS, playing in his second postseason and first since 2006 with Oakland. He became the first player in major league history with six multihit games in an LCS.