Pirates Close To Deal With Clint Barmes

8:03pm: Heyman tweets that it will be a two-year contract worth $10.5MM. The two sides are just putting the finishing touches on the deal.

2:36pm: The deal is expected to be worth roughly $11MM over two years once completed, Jon Heyman of SI.com tweets.

1:02pm: The Pirates and Barmes are close to a deal according to Heyman (on Twitter).

12:35pm: The Pirates appear to be in the lead for Clint Barmes, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Giants and Brewers have also been involved, and the free agent shortstop is likely to get a two-year contract.

Barmes, 33 in March, hit just .244/.312/.386 with a dozen homers for the Astros last season, but his primary value comes from his defensive skills. The various advanced metrics have rated his glovework at short as well above-average in recent years. The Pirates are in the market for a new shortstop after declining Ronny Cedeno's $3MM option for next season.

Tim Dierkes looked at Barmes' free agent stock last month, saying that Omar Infante's two-year, $8MM extension with the Marlins could serve as a decent comparable. Jamey Carroll's two-year, $6.75MM deal with the Twins reinforces the comparison.

89 Responses to Pirates Close To Deal With Clint Barmes Leave a Reply

  1. Barmes is definitely an upgrade over Ronny Cedeno, but only because he has a little more power. Cedeno’s glove keeps him comfortably over replacement level. If the Pirates can get Barmes at an Omar Infante pay level, then it’s fine, but Cedeno could still return in a backup role, or be a pretty decent backup infielder elsewhere.

    • esteban_none_a_loaiza 4 years ago

      To be fair, Barmes is only an upgrade over Cedeno in that he has the ability to positively influence the outcome of a game for his respective team

    • Smrtbusnisman04 4 years ago

      Not to mention, Cedeno made a few mental gaffs down the stretch last year, which angered Clint Hurdle.

      I would consider this a slight upgrade, but even though i preferred cedeno’s defense.

    • Bob George 4 years ago

      Barmes is also an upgrade because Cedeno consistently makes bonehead decisions, whether on defense or running the bases. He’s never matured and costs his team runs and games. That’s unacceptable.

    • nebelski 4 years ago

      Barmes is a clear upgrade.  Barmes plays equal defense (statistically last year, Cedeno was better, but I think Barmes is better overall.  I’ll call it even), will hit for a similar average, BUT will get on base a lot more, has more plate discipline, and has the potential for 10 or 15 more homers than Cedeno.  Very clear upgrade in my book. 2 years at $11M seems a little steep, but costs are rising and the inflation trips me up every year. LOL

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Barmes had a .312 OBP vs Cedeno’s .297, not exactly an upgrade. Seems like $10 mil is a lot to commit to him. Defensive minded middle infielders are not hard to find on the cheap. 

  2. Matthew Dolter 4 years ago

    ill take it now we need to trade for a power hitting 1st basemen

    • Matthew Dolter 4 years ago

      and starting pitching

      • vtadave 4 years ago

        ….and some relievers, a third baseman, and an outfielder.

        • gmenfan 4 years ago

          Look on the bright side though, you guys have a hell of a centerfielder.

    • nebelski 4 years ago

      Agreed!  Who do you think are the most likely targets?  I’ve thought about this a lot… A realistic target, in my opinion, who would match up well is Billy Butler.  He hasn’t been a major power threat, but hits over 40 doubles/year and is still only 25.  Plus, he’s under contract for, I believe, another 4 years.  It would be nice to think even larger, but I’m not sure how realistic it is to expect that. 

      • Chris Whitby 4 years ago

        Not sure how realistic Billy Butler is either

        • nebelski 4 years ago

          I’m not sure, either.  My thinking was that the Royals have Hosmer at 1B and Butler at DH with Clint Robinson at AAA, all 1st basemen.  The Royals could potentially be very interested in someone like Starling Marte, hence my conclusion that it could be a match.  I’m really not sure, though.

    • formerdraftpick 4 years ago

      Maybe they can trade for Garrett Jones?

  3. bigpat 4 years ago


    Not a bad player I suppose, has good value on D and should hit for a little power near the bottom of the order. I’d honestly prefer him over Furcal depending on the price tag, I’m afraid they will sign Furcal and he’ll just play half the season like he always does.

  4. bigpat 4 years ago

    The Clint Hurdle connection should help this deal get done as well. I wouldn’t be upset with 2/8, he should be of excess value if he signs that deal.

    • Backup_Slider 4 years ago

      The Hurdle connection is about the only explanation that I can imagine as to why Barmes would sign with the Pirates this early in the offseason. I’m surprised that at his age (32) he wouldn’t wait out the Giants and Brewers shortstop situations to see how they played out. 

      • gmenfan 4 years ago

        Definitely. He’s past his prime, doesn’t provide much offense, and signed for way more than he’s worth. He sounds like he would have been destined for San Francisco.

  5. Ian_Smell 4 years ago

    YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES. This is all I’ve ever really wanted. Well… not really… but I did want Bar-Miss to sign with them, if he does I’ll be super happy.

    • gmenfan 4 years ago

       The rest of the league is pining over Fielder and Reyes and you guys are excited to sign an over the hill shortstop. You Pirates fans are so charming.

  6. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    I wonder how good this guy would have been had he not hurt himself in a weird hunting accident ,   if thats what really happened 

    • progmatinee 4 years ago

      Do you consider carrying the meat up the stairs to the refrigerator “hunting”?

      • vonhayesdays 4 years ago

        that would be half of a hunting trip for me , to the store is the other half

    • Thomas Wilson 4 years ago

      He spent the day at Helton’s ranch riding 4Wheelers he fell and broke his collarbone on the stairs while his hands were full of bags.

  7. BucSox 4 years ago

    The Pirates so far are having as good of an off season as you can realistically hope for.  Resigning Lee or signing Pena would be awesome. 

    • Matthew Dolter 4 years ago

      or trade for a young 1stbaseman

      • JacksTigers 4 years ago

        Trade who? Alverez?

        • BucSox 4 years ago

          No reason to give up on Alvarez now his trade value is probably at the lowest point it will ever be.  Unless they were getting a clear steal for him I would keep him.

          • JacksTigers 4 years ago

            They could probably still get a good package for him.

          • BucSox 4 years ago

            Probably but why create another hole by trading him?  They have OF depth if they are going to trade someone it would be Presley or Marte.

        • leachim2 4 years ago

          Why not put Alvarez at 1st.

      • BucSox 4 years ago

        Well the 2 guys I was thinking of in that mold would be Yonder Alonso doubt Cincinnati would trade him within the division though, and Justin Smoak should the MAriners land Prince Fielder.

      • Tko11 4 years ago

        gaby sanchez?

        • leachim2 4 years ago

          yeah if the Marlins get a 1st baseman that could happen.

    • Bob George 4 years ago

      Carlos Pena would be a nice fit for the Bucs, if he is willing to take a 2 year deal or less.

    • nebelski 4 years ago

      Those wouldn’t be bad… and I’d rather see one of them than Jones starting at 1B every day… However, I wouldn’t really be too satisfied with that.  I’m NOT a Carlos Pena fan and I don’t think his particular talents are suited for a team that wants to win for a change.  He won in Tampa Bay, but the year they made it to the playoffs was easily his best AND they were stacked with other talent that the Pirates don’t necessarily have.

  8. jondogg2010 4 years ago

    Ah, Good for the Bucs.

  9. Jamie S 4 years ago

    An upgrade over Cedeno… yes. But to not even make a stab at Jose Reyes, and to apparantly dismiss any chance of trying for Prince Fielder shows the team is still hoping for miracles as opposed to actually investing and building.

    • Matthew Dolter 4 years ago

      why would those players ever sign with the pirates?  I have been a bucco fan my whole life and you need to understand that players with options  do not want to come to pittsburgh unless we are the only team offering a starting job or were offering you a shortstop job when everyone else is offering a 2nd base job.  name the last great pirate free agent signing? last great player pick up trade for brian giles

      • BucSox 4 years ago

        Honestly the best free agent signing the Pirates had since 1992 was probably Reggie Sanders as that might have been the best year of his career.

      • bigpat 4 years ago

        Why would Reyes sign with the Marlins? Why would Werth sign with the Nats? Show them the money and they’ll come play and embrace the city. Not saying it would have been the smartest move to sign them, but I doubt they flat out refuse to play here if the money’s right. 

        • Nyyankees1961 4 years ago

          The Marlins are not too far away from contention, and the Nats are regretting giving Werth so much money. The Pirates could sign Reyes or Fielder if they really wanted to, but given the timing, it’s not a wise investment to put 1/3 of the payroll on one player. The Pirates need a well rounded team to compete, and the money needs to be used to sign good players of all positions. The Pirates need not sign an all star just to put ham and eggers around him.

        • Matthew Dolter 4 years ago

          werth really..

    • BucSox 4 years ago

      They can not afford those guys I am sure they contacted the agents as due diligence.  They are investing via the draft and international free agents.  That is the way teams like the Pirates have to build.  The payroll flexibility they have should be used to lock up their own young players honestly I would rather sign McCutchen and Walker to long term deals rather that spending money on Fielder or Reyes and then not have the money to retain McCutchen and Walker later.

      • Nyyankees1961 4 years ago

        They could, it’s just unwise to put a bulk of the payroll on one player. Signing Cutch and Walker should be the number one priority, as it would solidify the core while leaving flexibility to improve the team in other categories.

    • Bob George 4 years ago

      The Pirates, or any team that has struggled for a long time, needs to be more consistent and obviously showing signs of pointing up before they can realistically woo big name free agents.

    • What those two would command individually would be approximately half of their payroll.  They’re not going to spend that on one player.

    • Nyyankees1961 4 years ago

      It would be nice for the Bucs to have Reyes or Fielder, but the Pirates need to be well rounded to compete. Why invest 1/3 of the payroll on one player, just to surround him with ham and eggers. I’d rather spend 20 million on three good players that can help the team win as opposed to one great player and a bunch of mediocre ham and eggers.

    • Bob68z28 4 years ago

      Signing either Reyes or Fielder would not make sense. The money spent on either one could be used to sign multiple players to fill more holes in the lineup. Plus, the big ticket guys won’t come to the ‘Burgh at this point. 

  10. If they could either sign or trade for a 1st baseman with some pop, I’d consider this a decent offseason. I’d love to see them go after a pitcher like Erik Bedard or Jeff Francis as well, but so far, it’s been a good start.

    • JacksTigers 4 years ago

      Carlos Pena could be a good fit and he could fall into there budget.

      • That’s what I was thinking as well. He’s exactly what the Pirates need at this point, an affordable, good defensive first baseman with quite a bit of power. Not to mention the Pirates have been rumored to have looked at him in the past. I could definitely see him in a Pittsburgh uniform this season.

  11. LUWahooNatFan 4 years ago

    Quality utility MI that will be staring for Pitt if he signs there

    • Bob George 4 years ago

      A few years ago Barmes’ production would make him a utility guy, but look at how bad the hitting has become from most middle infielders around baseball. Barmes’ offense, while not fantastic, it is light years ahead of guys like Jamey Carroll, Ramon Santiago, etc., who are likely to be starting players next season (and getting $3-4 mil per year), and Barmes plays a more than passable defense.

      • InLeylandWeTrust 4 years ago

        I’l take Jamey Carroll and his .350ish OBP over Barmes and his career .302 OBP to go with 10 homers a year…

        • Thomas Wilson 4 years ago

          Fair enough but Carroll is 6 years older too

  12. Nice pickup Buccos

  13. Would rather have Ramon Santiago as he would be much cheaper, younger, better hitting, and still above average defense. But, Barajas is still a decent option.

    Barmes, however, is still an upgrade over cedeno if under or at 5 million.

    BTW, I think I felt the same way about the Barajas signing- I would rather have someone like Jose Molina who would be cheaper, younger, above average D, and he had a .342 OBP.

  14. ObamaDinoKiller 4 years ago

    it’s players like barmes that piss me off. organizations worship the all mighty defense of scrubs like these guys when they likely have guys in the minors who are just as terrible offensively and just as good defensively. give those guys a chance, plus they’re way cheaper. i liked him the ONE YEAR he was good like 6 years ago and it boggles my mind that teams still pine over him

    • Bob George 4 years ago

      Teams still pine over Barmes because he’s one of a very few who can play good defense at SS and hit double digit hr’s at the big league level. The list of guys who can do that these days is extremely small.

  15. Mike Adamson 4 years ago

    Throwing more crap at the wall!!!

  16. TaillonColeandBellOhMy 4 years ago

    I figured this. Why spend a couple million extra and get a good SS in Furcal when we can have Barmes

  17. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    liked it at 12:30, but not so much as of 2:30. that price is a bit high

  18. Ha, Ha, HA! 5.5 Mil a year…. HA! You are killing me

  19. This makes the Mark Ellis signing look like a bargain for the Dodgers…

  20. Congratulations Pirates Fans!! It’s a great sign!

  21. Triple Hawpes Brewed 4 years ago

    $11 mil for 2 years of Barmes?!! Prado should be worth, what, Justin Upton, then?

  22. Okay nevermind.. this is way too much money. Awful job by the Pirates.. he’s only worth about 3 mil in my book

  23. Mike Adamson 4 years ago

    I just want the year to come where the Pirates are in on Pujols or Fielder!!! Plug Fielder in at 1B and I might get excited. What I see is the Pirates overpaying for the best of the rest players!!!

  24. 2 years/11 million?!? Please tell me that’s some sort of sick joke

  25. safari_punch 4 years ago

    This is ridiculous. Barmes isn’t worth more than 3 MM for two years.

  26. Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

    Pirates fans everywhere:

    (gif doesn’t seem to work without link :/)

    link to images3.wikia.nocookie.net

  27. platetectonics 4 years ago

    Does Houston get a compensation pick? If not he really shoulda been traded  at the deadline.

    • Backup_Slider 4 years ago

      Yes, assuming that the Type B compensation rules haven’t been altered for this offseason. The Astros will get a draft pick slot in the “sandwich round” between the first and second rounds at some point after all of the Type A compensation picks are made. If Barmes hadn’t signed before a week or so from now when the deadline for arbitration offers passes, the Astros would have had to offer him arbitration and be turned down by Barmes in the days following to get the compensation pick. At least I think that’s how the current system works.

  28. Poor guy… Astros AND Pirates.

    • Hey not everyone cares about winning. I’d be perfectly happy making 5+ million dollars a year to play baseball, and when you play for a non-contender the expectations aren’t quite as high and there isn’t as much pressure to perform. Sounds like a good gig to me.

  29. Wow i never thought a Clint Barmes signing would be breaking news.Break up the Bucs

  30. Chipper_is_GOD 4 years ago


    • grownice 4 years ago

       Im ignoring everyone who types in caps other then bleacher creature…startingggg now.

  31. TheOBM 4 years ago

    Lets face it this is a waste of 10 million dollars, playing pedro Ciraco everyday at short everyday would prob have the same effect. I mean 5 mil a year for a guy whose ops doesnt even quite reach .700, I really thought the Bucs were smarter than this.

  32. Paul_Zuvella 4 years ago

    This signing makes the Diamondbacks signing of Aaron Hill look like an incredibly huge bargain!

  33. LordD99 4 years ago

    I’m sorry, but is there another Clint Barmes in MLB that I’m unaware of, because that’s the only way this makes sense.  Kind of like when there were two SS’s named Alex Gonzalez?

  34. Barmes = missing piece for a championship…NOT!

  35. Rabbitov 4 years ago

    To be fair it isn’t a lot of money, but what an overpay. 

  36. Matthew Behrman 4 years ago

    ok so everyone can have there opinion on this signing, but seriously give the pickup another look if you’re against it. there is NO other better ss that we could have afforded out there. furcal is an underperforming over the hill has-been. reyes and rollins have a collective interest of zero to come here and it could be argued that rollins is on a severe decline. santiago is not better than barmes. he has not once shown that he could consistently handle starting at ss and his numbers are extremely comparable to cedeno which is to say its awful. as stated above, teams like the buccos have trouble bringing in good free agents because of their historic crappy-ness. they have to overpay to bring in somebody who in this market is above average. given the market and the landscape i love this signing. barmes is defensively a bit above average and his hitting is painfully subpar, BUT there is something that he gives the pirates that not man signings in the past has given us; certainty. you know exactly what you will get out of him on a daily basis. his war is a bit inflated, but serves to illustrate that he is a competent major league baseball player.

  37. MetsMagic 4 years ago

    What about Furcal?

  38. Paul_Zuvella 4 years ago

    Sorry Larry –

    You’re clearly either drunk or a hard up Pirates fan. Barmes is a bench player at best, and his offensive stats clearly bear that out. He’s has a lifetime .700 OPS, with barely a .300 OBP….he’s a classic Pirate signing. Low value, high premium player.  

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