The Red Sox have decided to pick up shortstop Marco Scutaro's $6 million team option, general manager Ben Cherington announced.
Scutaro, who turned 36 on Sunday, hit a career-high .299 in 113 games this past season. He also hit seven home runs and drove in 54 runs while finishing with a .358 on-base percentage. His .299 average was the second-highest among American League shortstops with at least 400 plate appearances, and his .423 slugging percentage was also a personal best.
Scutaro, who also started two games at second base in 2011, racked up a .301 average while at shortstop, which marks the highest by a Red Sox player playing shortstop since Nomar Garciaparra hit .301 in 2003.
Scutaro arrived in Boston as a free agent before the 2010 season after parts of eight seasons with the Mets, Athletics and Blue Jays.
The Red Sox signed him to a two-year, $12.5 million deal in December of 2009. The team had the $6 million team option for 2012, while Scutaro had a $3 million player option that he could have exercised had the club not picked up the team option.