Clint Barmes Rumors

Padres Sign Clint Barmes

The Padres announced today that they’ve added some middle infield depth by signing Clint Barmes to a one-year contract with a club option for the 2016 season. Barmes, a client of Meister Sports Management, reportedly receives a $1.3MM base salary with a $2MM club option that comes with a $200K buyout. All told, it’s a $1.5MM guarantee, and the option’s value can reportedly increase to as much as $4MM based on incentives.

Barmes, 35, provides a veteran option up the middle for a San Diego club that just moved on from shortstop Everth Cabrera. He saw his playing time steadily fall off over the last two years after making over 400 plate appearances for five straight seasons.

Though Barmes has always had quite a well-regarded glove — indeed, he continues to provide value there — his bat has always been below average and has fallen off in recent years. Since the start of the 2012 season, he owns a .224/.271/.314 slash. Of course, Barmes has been so good in the field that he has still played comfortably above replacement level over that stretch.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first tweeted news of the agreement. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports first reported basic terms of the contract (on Twitter), and MLB.com’s Corey Brock provided further details (Twitter link).


Pirates Sign Clint Barmes

FRIDAY: The Pirates have officially announced the signing.

THURSDAY 11:39am: Barmes and the Pirates have agreed to a one-year, $2MM deal, Olney reports (on Twitter).

11:13am: Clint Barmes has agreed to terms with the Pirates, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. ESPN's Buster Olney was the first to report that the Meister Sports Management client was nearing a return to Pittsburgh (Twitter link).

Barmes, who turns 35 in March, batted .211/.249/.309 with five homers for the Bucs in 2013. Though his offensive numbers were lackluster, he played stellar defense at shortstop, posting a +14.2 UZR/150 and +12 Defensive Runs Saved in just over 800 innings at the position.

Barmes will split time with Jordy Mercer upon returning. Though Mercer is a superior offensive player — he batted .285/.336/.435 — he doesn't have much of an offensive track record to this point in his career and isn't considered a strong defensive player.


Pirates Close To Re-Signing Clint Barmes

The Pirates are nearing a deal to bring shortstop Clint Barmes back to Pittsburgh, according to ESPN's Buster Olney (on Twitter).

Barmes, who turns 35 in March, batted .211/.249/.309 with five homers for the Bucs in 2013. Though his offensive numbers were lackluster, he played stellar defense at shortstop, posting a +14.2 UZR/150 and +12 Defensive Runs Saved in just over 800 innings at the position.

This post was originally published on Dec. 12 at 11:00am.



Pirates To Try To Re-Sign Burnett, Byrd, Barmes

The Pirates will try to re-sign pitcher A.J. Burnett, outfielder Marlon Byrd and shortstop Clint Barmes, and they may extend Burnett a qualifying offer, MLB.com's Tom Singer reports. Burnett is still deciding between playing for the Pirates for one more year and retiring, but Singer suggests that the most likely route is that Burnett will accept their qualifying offer. Since Burnett has already said he wants to retire as a Pirate, the Bucs do not need to worry much about their five-day exclusive negotiating period, except in the sense that whether or not they re-sign Burnett will have a significant impact on the rest of their offseason plans.

Byrd, who arrived via an August trade with the Mets, would continue to serve as the Pirates' right fielder if he were to re-sign. If he does not, the bulk of the playing time will likely go to Jose Tabata, with prospects Andrew Lambo and Gregory Polanco behind him. After posting a .291/.336/.511 season in 2013, Byrd will likely be in line for a multiyear deal, even at age 36.

Barmes made $5.5MM in the second year of his two-year deal with the Bucs in 2013. He hit poorly in both seasons and lost his starting shortstop job to Jordy Mercer, but he still has value due to his strong defense. If the Pirates retain him, it would likely be on a cheap one-year deal to back up Mercer.

The Bucs will try to negotiate with Byrd and Barmes before the bidding opens to other teams, Singer reports. He also notes that the Pirates are unlikely to re-sign first baseman Justin Morneau, catcher John Buck, or pitchers Jeff Karstens or Kyle Farnsworth.


National League Free Agent Arbitration Offers

10 National League teams have free agent arbitration offer decisions to make today, and we'll update them in this post in advance of the 11pm central time deadline.  For a fantastic customizable chart with all 57 Type A/B free agents and their teams' decisions in real-time, click here.  

Updated team decisions:

Teams with automatic decisions only:


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.


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.


Brewers Targeting Free Agent Shortstops

The Brewers are looking for an upgrade over shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt and are combing the open market for a solution.  While it remains a longshot, the team sources make it sound as though they are more likely to land Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins than re-sign Prince Fielder, tweets Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com.

Meanwhile, GM Doug Melvin is doing his due diligence by talking with Rollins' agent Dan Lozano, according to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel (via Twitter).  The club is also set to meet with the agent for Clint Barmes today and the shortstop has quite a bit of buzz around him at the Milwaukee meetings.  The Astros and Brewers are among the many teams after him and the Dodgers were also in the mix before signing Mark Ellis, tweets Jon Heyman of SI.


Brewers Rumors: Furcal, Aramis, Barmes, Reyes

Here's the latest on the Brewers, including what's happening at the GM meetings in Milwaukee:


Dodgers Links: Sale, Offseason, Infielders, Rivera

On this day in 1988, Los Angeles right-hander Orel Hershiser won the NL Cy Young Award by a unanimous vote after going 23-8 with a 2.31 ERA. Here are a few items of note regarding the Dodgers …

  • Tom Golisano, the former owner of the NHL's Buffalo Sabres, is preparing a bid to purchase the Dodgers, according to Craig Karmin and Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal. Golisano is "one of the first to declare an interest in buying the franchise who actually has the money to pull off the transaction," according to the report.
  • Outgoing owner Frank McCourt hasn't told GM Ned Colletti not to spend on free agents — even ones of Prince Fielder's caliber — this offseason, a source tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
  • The Dodgers are "aggressively pursuing" infielders and are also interested in acquiring a catcher and starting pitchers, Major League sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. Los Angeles is targeting Clint Barmes, Aaron Hill and Mark Ellis to play second base and/or a utility position.
  • Juan Rivera's new contract with the Dodgers could be worth as much as $9MM over the next two seasons, according to Hernandez. The outfielder is guaranteed $4MM in 2012, with a $4MM option or $500K buyout for 2013, and he can earn as much as $500K in each of the next two seasons depending on his number of at-bats.