Astros, Rockies Swap Paulino & Barmes

The Astros acquired Clint Barmes from the Rockies for Felipe Paulino, according to the team. GM Ed Wade says he pursued Barmes for his defensive versatility and gap power. Barmes said on a conference call that he's been told he'll mostly play shortstop, his preferred position.

The Rockies, who were not necessarily going to offer Barmes arbitration, get something in return for the 31-year-old. Barmes said that he had hoped to work something out with the Rockies, since he has enjoyed playing in Denver, but is looking forward to joining a young Astros team that finished the 2010 season strong.

Barmes was a non-tender candidate heading into his final season of arbitration eligibility. After hitting 23 homers in 2009, he hit just 8 homers this year and his batting line fell to .235/.305/.351. Barmes earned $3.33MM in 2010 and figures to pocket $4MM or so in 2011.

Paulino, 27, posted a 5.11 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 in 91 2/3 innings for the Astros this year. He'll be arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason (as a Super Two). In each of the past three seasons, his average fastball velocity has surpassed 95 mph. Paulino struggles against lefties, but is considerably more effective against right-handed hitters.

48 Responses to Astros, Rockies Swap Paulino & Barmes Leave a Reply

  1. mattchu12 5 years ago

    Makes you wonder what the Rockies are planning for second base…

    • I’d imagine Eric Young, Jr.

      • mattchu12 5 years ago

        I’m wondering if that means they’re going hard after an Orlando Hudson or Tsuyoshi Nishioka, admittedly I don’t know much about him, but I kind of got the vibe that EY Jr wasn’t up to the task of starting everyday quite yet.

        • mkorpal 5 years ago

          They were going to non-tender Barmes anyway. This move makes no difference.

          Also, Nelson and EY are expected to be battling for 2B in spring training, with Herrera possibly in the mix.

  2. Steven St Croix 5 years ago

    I don’t get it. Paulio has a great arm. Health is a concern, but for an older Barmes with injury concerns of his own?

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      Yeah, if Paulino can even bring his BB/9 down by 1 or so, he’d see drastic improvements. He’s still only totaled 200ish MLB innings and he’s been plagued by a well above average BABIP (.348) and well below average strand rate (58.2%)… if he can improve the control even a little bit, his peripherals suggest he can put up an ERA in the mid- to low 4.00s, while striking out a batter per inning.

      Sounds an awful lot like another lefty that the Rockies are about to lose to free agency… Makes zero sense to me from the Astros’ point of view even if their salaries are equal, which they clearly won’t be.

  3. S8P7W 5 years ago

    Nice deal for the Rockies.
    Does Eric Young take over 2B?
    Is Clint Barmes the Astros’ starting SS?

    • mkorpal 5 years ago

      Eric Young or Chris Nelson or possibly Johnathan Herrera.

  4. BHam2421 5 years ago

    As an Astros fan, this trade is a wash. Paulino has a great young arm but he is always hurt. However, I believe Barmes has his share of injuries as well. Who knows who will get the better end of the deal but it looks pretty even right now.

  5. I think the Rockies got the better end of this deal. Paulino has some terrific strikeout potential, and is only 27.

    I guess Eric Young will get a crack at 2B for the Rockies?

  6. 5 years ago


  7. It’s probably EY Jr’s job to lose now, he got a ton of playing time at the end of the year

  8. Great deal for the Rockies. Barmes is a terrible hitter who was headed towards being non-tendered and Colorado flips him for a guy with a great arm and strong peripherals this year. Ed Wade just being himself.

    • Was Ed Wade “just being himself” when he drafted Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard? I’m personally neutral on Wade, but the guy built what is now a pretty good Phillies team. Why all the hate?

      • BHam2421 5 years ago

        I agree. It doesn’t really make sense. As Astros GM, he traded garbage for Jose Valverde, then turned Valverde into 2 first round draft choices when he declined arbitration.

        He also signed Brett Myers, who turned out his best season this year.

        People have to keep in mind that he inherited a mess with the Astros. He has done a very good job at turning it around.

    • Tko11 5 years ago

      I remember when Barmes looked like a promising hitter until he fell carrying groceries…

  9. RGV84 5 years ago

    It really doesnt bother me to see Paulino go he had a great arm but that fastball of his is extremely flat, imagine a flat fastball in coorsfield ur going to see homeruns fly out of there left and right.

  10. penpaper 5 years ago

    Paulino is just another reason to believe that velocity isn’t everything. As a starter, he’ll never be any good unless he knows how to actually pitch.

  11. The_Porcupine 5 years ago

    God no!!! I hate Barmes. When you expect him to fill an important role, he underperforms. The only time he’s good is when he’s a back up. Classic guy who can get over exposed if played too much. That’s before I get to the injury history. I don’t mind losing Paulino, but I would hate to see the Stros settle for Barmes as their only infeld upgrade.

  12. mkorpal 5 years ago

    Am I far off in thinking this could wind up like the De La Rosa trade a few years back for the Rockies. Taking a pitcher with good stuff who has had little success and turning him into a valuable commodity.

    At the very least, Paulino is a fun project for them to work on. He has the potential to a solid pitcher.

  13. $1742854 5 years ago

    For every Rockies pitcher that was harnessed (Ubaldo), there have been other fireballers who have been impossible to harness (Juan Morillo, F. Morales, M. Corpas). Overall, it’s a good move for the Rox–Barmes was just plain terrible at the plate even when he hit all of those HR’s. Rockies struggled with putting the ball in play last year, especially on the road, so another crappy OBP year from Barmes makes NO sense.

  14. BobbyJohn 5 years ago

    EY has no business starting at 2B for the Rockies. He is significantly below average defensively at a position that demands defensive excellence. I know he can fly on the bases, but you have to get to first before you can steal second.

    Jonathan Herrera should be the starting 2B come 2011. He is very good with the glove and showed good discpline and contact at the plate.

    • mkorpal 5 years ago

      Yuck, no. Herrera is at best a spot starter. He doesn’t have much of a bat at all, isn’t all that fast, as is only slightly above average defensibly.

      The answer here is Nelson.

      • BobbyJohn 5 years ago

        If Herrera doesn’t have much of a bat then EYJ has none at all. Also, Herrera was the best 2B on the Rockies in 2010, at least according to UZR on fangraphs. Nelson was the worst. EYJ was actually 2nd behind Herrera, which surprised me.

        Herrera is still superior to EYJ with the bat, though. Young is pretty much Barmes with speed instead of power.

        Herrera posted a .284/.352/.342 line over 257 PA last season. Granted, that’s a tiny sample size, but I think that OBP is sustainable because he is willing to take the occasional walk (25 in 257 PA) and he makes enough contact. I could easily see Herrera starting at 2B and hitting second behind Fowler next season.

        • mkorpal 5 years ago

          Nelson barely played. You can’t even make a fair comparison. Nelson has way way more upside than Herrera.

          • BobbyJohn 5 years ago

            Nelson is going to be on the 2011 opening day roster. There is zero doubt about that. I just think that Herrera is the better option at 2B with Nelson getting plenty of time all over the infield except for 1B.

            I get the upside argument, for sure, and I’ll spot you that. I just see Herrera as the steadier player and the safer bet. I would prefer either of them to EYJ at this point.

  15. I’m not a big fan of Barmes by any means, but from his perspective, Houston has to seem like a dream date. Shaky depth at all three of the positions he customarily plays gives him all kinds of chances to play. And if you have to be a hitter leaving Coors, you may as well be going to Houston.

  16. STEVEBARTMAN_MVP 5 years ago

    I don’t like this move. I know Paulino doesn’t have options so Houston may have lost him anyways. Just not thrilled to get an overpaid Barmes for him. I just don’t think the market was great out there for the Astros to make this deal. Hopefully Barmes hits well this year and gets us some true compensation for Paulinos power arm.

  17. Roy Baker 5 years ago

    If the my boys can get 2009 production from Barmes, then fine. I’m a fan of the move, just hope Clint can stay healthy…might be far fetched.

    Paulino has good stuff, just someone needs to take him under their wing and teach him how to pitch.

  18. $1529282 5 years ago

    “Take THAT, Larry Beinfest!” Said Ed Wade as he triumphantly slammed the phone following completion of a Felipe Paulino-Clint Barmes swap. “No matter how dumb you act this offseason, I’m still the king baby! Now to show that Dave Dombrowski a thing or two. Someone get me the number for Kyle Farnsworth’s agent! I’ve got three years and $20M with his name on it!”

    • STEVEBARTMAN_MVP 5 years ago

      It’s really not that terrible of a trade. When Paulino has a 1.80 whip and can’t find the strike zone, anybody can have him since he doesn’t have an option anymore. Barmes isn’t great, but trading a pitcher with control problems lacking options for a guy in his last year of arbitration isn’t bad. If Barmes produces a line similar to his 2009 line, we could get compensation. I’ll take a supplemental pick for him. Not to mention Paulino will be arbitration eligible after the season, if he makes it through the season.

      • All excellent points. Add in the fact that Paulino isn’t a perfect fit for the Astros’ timeline – competitive in about 2-3 years as he’s nearing 30. Barmes will fill a utility role and probably start at short a lot. Lacking better options until Mier is ready (if he ever is), it seems that losing what is going to amount to a bullpen arm with no options left isn’t such a bad thing. Wash.

  19. Rox win this big-time. Worst case scenario if Paulino continues to struggle with control they can try him in the bullpen as a power arm. He already gets tons of swings and misses with his fastball. Meanwhile they give up a non-tender candidate.

    What are the Astros doing? Aren’t they rebuilding? Shouldn’t they be the ones trading needless veterans for guys with upside?

    • STEVEBARTMAN_MVP 5 years ago

      Guys who don’t have options. If Paulino pitches himself off the 25 man roster, he must clear waivers before he can go to the minors. With his arm, he won’t. Sure Paulino has much much much more upside than Clint Barmes, but trading a non-tender guy for an option lacking pitcher with control issues along with shoulder problems is hardly a big time win for the Rockies. I would give the Rockies the slight edge until Paulino can’t be hidden in the bullpen any longer.

  20. mikecav19 5 years ago

    From the Astros perspective I like the trade. Paulino got his chance in 2010 and was OK, but I do not see him being a great prospect. People are just fascinated with his FB which has been clocked over 100MPH a few years ago. He lacks some control. It is a good risk for the Rockies, but the Astros already are set with 4 positions. They have Myers, Wandy-R, Bud Norris, and Happ with Lyles at AAA as one of the top prospects in baseball. The Astros also have Nelson Figueroa who projects as a spot starter long bulpen pitcher (3.22 ERA in 2010). I expect them to sign a high risk/high reward type pitcher and have Lyles in the minors. Also, the Astros are hoping for more of a 2009 type of season from Barmes who has a lot of pop for a SS. The Astros were last in the league in HR last year. They desperately need power. With Jeff Keppinger at 2B I expect Barmes to play SS, but it will be interesting to see what they do with Manzella. Chris Johnson is the 3B.

    • Guest 5 years ago

      Since they need power just get rid of Carlos Lee somehow, sign Adam Dunn and put dunn in left field.

      • drewharen9 5 years ago

        put Dunn in left field? that’s a joke

        • GoAstros00 5 years ago

          No. That’s not a joke. He used to play left field and he’s better than lee.

  21. GoAstros00 5 years ago

    I agree.

  22. GoAstros00 5 years ago

    The astros need power so they should get adam dunn in a three-way trade between them, the nationals and a AL team that needs a DH with the AL team recieving lee and the astros recieving dunn.

    • STEVEBARTMAN_MVP 5 years ago

      Adam Dunn is a free agent, no trade needed.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Oh. Still they should get adam dunn. If they need power , which they do , he has more than enough power. Even though he strikes out alot more than Carlos Lee, he has power which is why is better than lee. So they should get rid of lee some how and sign dunn.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Then by god sign him. That team needs a little bit of pop in the middle of their lineup instead of Carlos Lee.

      • Guest 5 years ago

        Then by god sign him. That team needs a little bit of pop in the middle of their lineup instead of Carlos Lee.

  23. tmengd 5 years ago

    arguing who got the better deal is like arguing would you rather have a green turd or purple turd. They are boths turds :) . All honesty though both teams won. Colorado got something for nothing and so did the Astros. Barmes costs more but if he even hits 10 hr and bats .250 then thats better then Manzella did last year. He hs a better arm then Sanchez to. So worse case the Astros get more of the same, the best case however is he stays healthy and hits 20 hr get 75 RBIS bats .260 and plays good defense, which is an upgrade for sure.

  24. tmengd 5 years ago

    arguing who got the better deal is like arguing would you rather have a green turd or purple turd. They are boths turds :) . All honesty though both teams won. Colorado got something for nothing and so did the Astros. Barmes costs more but if he even hits 10 hr and bats .250 then thats better then Manzella did last year. He hs a better arm then Sanchez to. So worse case the Astros get more of the same, the best case however is he stays healthy and hits 20 hr get 75 RBIS bats .260 and plays good defense, which is an upgrade for sure.

  25. How bad are players allowed to suck and still achieve “super two” status?

  26. azdsnd 5 years ago

    Don’t see what the hubbub is here about the Rox making it big here. Barmes will be a decent fringe-regular as a stop-gap for Houston at SS, a position for which there are virtually no free agents available. Giving up an all-projection, no-realization, no-options, no-health arm and $4MM to fill that need adequately isn’t something to cry about. Filling shortstop holes is HARD, and Ed Wade just did it at a reasonable cost.

    Saying that “all Paulino needs to do to be great is find some control” is like saying “all I need to do to become a superhero is acquire superpowers.” Yeah, it’s an enticing prospect, but the odds are definitely against it actually happening.

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