Monday October 31, 2011 | 06:27 AM

Shortstop has not exactly been a position of stability for the Boston Red Sox, but Marco Scutaro is preparing to start his third straight season in Fenway in 2012.

The Red Sox picked up Scutaro's option year on his contract for $6-million.

Will Scutaro be with Boston the whole season?

That depends on the production of two players - Scutaro and minor league shortstop Jose Iglesias.

Scutaro, who turned 36 on Sunday, was one of the few solid performers down the stretch for Boston. He finished with a .299 batting average (.781 OPS). He made only 13 errors. And while is arm strength may be a question mark on throws from the hole, he is otherwise dependable.

Iglesias'  fielding is his forte. But will his bat catch up? He showed promise in Portland in 2010, batting .285 in 57 games. But a broken hand cut his season short. Rushed to Triple-A Pawtucket last season, Iglesias batted .235.

Iglesias will turn 22 in January.

In other Red Sox news, various media outlets in Boston are reporting that Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin and Brewers coach Dale Sveum will be the first to be interviewed for the vacant Red Sox managing job.

Sveum, 47, was the Red Sox third base coach from in 2004 and '05. He also managed in the visiting dugout at Hadlock Field, with Altoona from 2001 to '03.

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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