Pirates Sign Clint Barmes

The Pirates found their new shortstop, as they officially signed Clint Barmes to a two-year deal today.  The contract is worth $10.5MM, Barmes confirmed to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.  MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch notes that with a $5MM salary in 2012, Barmes will be the Pirates' highest-paid player.  

Barmes, 32, hit .244/.312/.386 in 495 plate appearances for the Astros this year while playing above-average defense at shortstop.  Barmes replaces Ronny Cedeno as the Pirates' starting shortstop and reunites with former manager Clint Hurdle.  The Pirates' press release cites Barmes' UZR heavily, with GM Neal Huntington adding, "With the signing of Clint Barmes, we have added an above average defensive shortstop who will bring quality experience and reliability to the club on the playing field as well as a positive veteran presence in the clubhouse."  

Middle infielders have been surprisingly well-compensated this offseason, with Aaron Hill, Mark Ellis, and Omar Infante also receiving two-year deals despite lackluster offensive years.   

Since Barmes was a Type B free agent, the Astros will receive a supplemental draft pick for their loss.  "We'll have to explore different options to find a front-line shortstop or someone to share time with [Angel] Sanchez," Astros GM Ed Wade told McTaggart.

McTaggart says Barmes talked to the Brewers about a possible two-year deal, but they weren't willing to make an offer until Prince Fielder's situation was resolved.  Barmes said on a conference call today that he didn't receive many other concrete offers, and the Pirates' guarantee of two years was a big factor.

5,020 people entered MLBTR's free agent prediction contest earlier this month, and three contestants are batting 1.000 after four of our top 50 free agents signed.

30 Responses to Pirates Sign Clint Barmes Leave a Reply

  1. Devern Hansack 4 years ago

    Yes! Not Ronny Cedeno!

    But seriously, it’s a little pricey. Barmes’ defense will be awesome for the Pirates and their GB heavy pitching staff though.

  2. bjsguess 4 years ago

    That is just way too much.

    On a side note – the stinking tracker didn’t save my changes. I went in initially and made just a few picks. Went back in a couple hours before the deadline and completed my picks. Unfortunately, none of the picks were saved (something I didn’t know until now when I went to check my standings). Wonder if there is a problem with the tracker or if I did something wrong. Grrrr. Wanted to see how well I would do.

  3. 5.25 a year seems a bit pricey. I would imagine a 2 year/6 mil would have been a bit more in his range. But at least the Bucos now have a good defensive shortstop.

  4. LUWahooNatFan 4 years ago

    I have a sinking feeling that the Nationals would make an offer like that.. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see the Nationals sign him, just not for that price.

  5. Henduck 4 years ago

    Barmes was the guy I wanted to see them sign.  But at that price, I would have preferred them to bring Ronny back instead.  Not an egregious overpay, but an overpay nonetheless.  And in all fairness, the Bucs have to overpay to entice FA’s to come to Pittsburgh.  So I’m just going to forget the contract and wish Clint and the Bucs the best of luck.  It is an upgrade after all.    

  6. BondstheGOAT 4 years ago

    I think the extra $ for similar production could be worth it. Having watched 90% of Cedeno’s games here his mental lapses and mind boggling blunders will be a thing of the past. Barmes has a great repoire with clint Hurdle something Ronny and his bad attitude and frequent miscues failed to do.

  7. 2.9 WAR in his best season last year…If-if-if he can produce like that these next two years at $5.25 mil/year, that’s like $1.8 mil per win share. Not bad, eh?

    -Depressed Pirates fan trying to justify his team’s moves-

  8. johnsilver 4 years ago

    I thought Boston might have made a mistake picking up the 6m option on Scuttaro, but like WOW.. Contracts being given to middle IF so far is crazy.

    • monkeyking42 4 years ago

      Scutaro has been a slightly above average hitter over the last three years while playing perfectly cromulent shortstop.  6m seems like a good deal if anything.  I think the market is finally starting to account for the fact that solid, sub-All-Star middle infielders are still pretty valuable pieces.

      • Morley C 4 years ago

        Were you joking when you wrote “cromulent”? Just curious. Not meaning to be confrontational. Genuinely want to know.

        • Jason MacAskill 4 years ago

          He’s really going to embiggen the morale in that room, too.

          Monkeyking is a Simpsons fan.

        • monkeyking42 4 years ago

          Serious insofar as I think Scutaro is a capable defensive shortstop.  Joking in that I find random Simpsons references help embiggen my otherwise mediocre musings.

          • Morley C 4 years ago

            Yeah, I was curious as to how far fake Simpsons words have penetrated modern culture. I’d have been worried if you were serious. haha

  9. Finally

  10. sucks to suck pittsburgh!

  11. 14 Rocks 4 years ago

    I was hoping the Braves would get Barmes as the stopgap to Pastornicky, but not at that price.  Wow!!

  12. Casor_Greener 4 years ago

    Wow this guy was supposedly worth 2+ “WAR” and everyone says it is a piss poor signing.  funny how people pick and choose when to use “advanced statistics”

    • bjsguess 4 years ago

      When so much of the value is tied into defense and defense being the most suspect contributor to WAR then the reaction is perfectly normal. You take away his defense and you have a well below average hitter.

      Also, I don’t think people are suggesting that this is a bad “value” signing. What folks are commenting on is the price tag relative to what was expected. WAR can’t be looked at in a vacuum. The most important factor in compensation is the comparison to similar talent and their salaries. In this case Barmes scored a deal much higher than what most light hitting, decent fielding guys get. So while it may be a great “value” signing it does not mean that the Pirates scored a good deal on the open market.

      Finally, this is no bargain when you look at the history with Barmes. To earn his paycheck he has to net a value of approximately 1 WAR per year over the next two seasons. Since becoming a full-time “starter” his 2006, 07, and 10 seasons were all below that mark. 08, 09, and 11 were above the threshold. That’s a lot of uncertainty – which I’m assuming that many people thought would depress his contract.

      • Casor_Greener 4 years ago

        so 3 out of the last 4 years he has been above that mark, but there’s uncertainty?

        I understand what you are saying, but either you follow fangraphs WAR or you don’t.  You can’t pick and choose when to use it.  Personally I think he sucks, but a lot of people knocking this signing are these advanced stat guys and I find that disappointing.

  13. stroh 4 years ago

    As an Astros fan, glad to pick up a supplemental draft pick for a good, but not great player.

  14. Matthew Dolter 4 years ago

    i am a bucco season ticketholder and have seen ronny cedeno play more than anyone would like to admit and he is not a winning ball player I dont care what anyone says or what stats they show the guy sucks at baseball and any upgrade will help this team win. 

    he has a knack for making a bonehead play when the game is on the line

    • As a Cubs fan, I can confirm and corroborate your assessment of Ronny Cedeno.

    • Rbaraff 4 years ago

      EXACTLY. Cedeno is not the worst SS ever by any means, but he is not a winning SS. I don’t know if Barmes is the answer, but he at least will have his head in the game and give full effort. He is a decent player and will give us 100% while we wait to see if any of our prospects arrive. He was the best on the board other than Reyes and Rollins, and the only one that was realistic for the Bucs. 

      Watching Cedeno day in and day out was very difficult for me as a fan, so I can only image how hard it was for Hurdle. 

  15. indybucfan 4 years ago

    While Barmes is no Reyes of Rollins, comparatively speaking from a pure dollar standpoint, 10.5 mill compared to roughly 30 mill over the same time frame seems about right. The price for consistency in middle infielders went up this year.

  16. Really high! I’m curious to see who the giants get to play SS. I thought they would have landed this guy for some reason

  17. chico65 4 years ago

    I was convinced no team would actually consider Barmes an upgrade, but forgot about the Pirates and Cedeno.  Silly me.

    The fact that he got over $5MM a year from them to boot is just mindboggling.  

  18. sf55forlife 4 years ago

    if they do get a ss its either going to be alex gonzalez or ronny cedeno. 

  19. Could you scream this again into my good ear?

  20. Hoosierdaddy92 4 years ago

    you and bleacher creature would hit it off pretty nicely

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