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.