Clint Barmes Rumors
Of all the teams in baseball, the 18-30 Astros are likeliest to become sellers this summer, in the eyes of ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark. Yet Stark suggests there may be a shortage of sellers, since so many teams are within striking distance of a playoff berth. Here are the details, as the summer trade market starts to take shape:
- Houston GM Ed Wade says it makes sense to explore “anything that builds the type of depth that will get us where we need to be."
- Rival teams believe Wade would listen to offers for players like Brett Myers, Wandy Rodriguez, Clint Barmes and Bill Hall, but the GM says he’s “going to be very protective of [Houston’s] younger players."
- Stark hears that the Braves, Orioles and Phillies have some interest in Hunter Pence. A rival executive says Wade would need an immense haul to justify trading Pence, who is under team control through 2013.
- The Phillies’ interest in Pence may be overstated. Pence’s $6.9MM salary appears to be about double what Philadelphia can add and at this point, the Phils are just creating a shopping list of possible targets.
- The Braves are “actively stepping up” their search for hitting. They’ve been looking for a right-handed hitting outfielder and would also like a utility infielder who can handle shortstop. They signed longtime shortstop Julio Lugo yesterday.
Some links to browse through on your Sunday afternoon...
- The Matt Holliday contract is looking better every day, writes Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Miklasz compares Holliday's deal to several other outfielders, including Alfonso Soriano and Jason Bay, in pointing out the early returns on the Cardinals' investment in Holliday.
- Tom Powers of the St. Paul Pioneer Press looks at some of the biggest trades to date from Twins GM Bill Smith as the trade deadline approaches. The Twins figure to be full-fledged sellers for the first time under Smith's watch.
- Neither the Astros nor the Rockies are looking like winners of the Clint Barmes-for-Felipe Paulino swap this past offseason, writes the Houston Chronicle's Zachary Levine. The Rox just DFA'ed Paulino while Barmes is hitting .191 in Houston. As Levine points out, the Astros' bigger loss to the Rockies was former closer Matt Lindstrom.
- Zach Berman of the New Jersey Star Ledger takes a look at Nationals third base coach Bo Porter and his quest to become a Major League manager.
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports opines that the Red Sox are a great team, but not yet complete as their bullpen has been overworked and exposed by a struggling rotation. He wonders if Boston will be in the hunt for an elite upgrade to its rotation prior to July 31 to take some of the pressure off the bullpen.
The Astros designated Joe Inglett for assignment to create roster space for Clint Barmes, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. Barmes was hit by a pitch in Spring Training and has now recovered from a fractured hand.
Inglett hit .208/.208/.250 in 24 plate appearances for the Astros, who acquired him from the Rays this spring. The 32-year-old appeared in 102 games for the Brewers last year, hitting .254/.331/.401 and playing second base, left field and right field. He has also played shortstop, third base and center field over the course of his six-year MLB career. The left-handed hitter has a .286/.345/.397 line in the majors.
Barmes has not appeared in a big league game for the Astros since they acquired him for Felipe Paulino last November. He hit .235/.305/.351 in 432 plate appearances for Colorado last year, playing short, second and third.
The Astros remade their middle infield this offseason, but they have yet to see new shortstop Clint Barmes play an official game in their uniform. He's currently recovering from a fractured hand suffered in Spring Training, but he's already thinking beyond his rehab and to the future, telling Stephen Goff of Examiner.com that he hopes to remain in Houston beyond this season.
Barmes, 32, will earn $3.925MM this season, his final one as an arbitration-eligible player. He is scheduled to become a free agent after the season, when he would be one of the few legitimate everday middle infielders available on the market. Although he hit just .235/.305/.351 with the Rockies last season, Barmes hit a respectable .264/.306/.452 with 34 homers and 25 steals from 2008-2009. Aside from a hiccup in 2007 and 2008, UZR has liked his defense at short.
Notes from the NL Central...
- Zack Greinke talked to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about his frustrations with the media and the reason he believes he can get to know his teammates without going out to dinner with them every night.
- MLB.com's Adam McCalvy has more from Greinke.
- Brewers owner Mark Attanasio told Haudricourt that this year's Brewers team could help him reach one of his biggest life goals. "One thing I want before I kick the bucket is a World Series ring for the Milwaukee Brewers," Attanasio said.
- Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette explains that Corey Wimberly, who arrived in Pittsburgh in an offseason trade with Oakland, intends to make it impossible for the Pirates not to place him on their 25-man roster. The speedy utility player stands just 5'8" and says he's well-suited for the National League.
- Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle wonders where the critics of the Brandon Lyon signing have gone. Many analysts panned the reliever's three-year, $15MM deal last winter, but Lyon went on to stay healthy and produce for the Astros in 2010. His performance may have helped other relievers, as I explain here.
- Jiovanni Mier, the Astros' 2009 first rounder, has added 20 pounds of muscle and impressed the team's front office, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle.
- Clint Barmes is looking forward to playing shortstop again, reports MLB.com's Brian McTaggart. The new Astros infielder admitted that while he enjoyed playing in Colorado, he knew he'd have to go elsewhere if he wanted regular playing time.
- Miguel Cairo is happy to have finally earned a multiyear contract, writes MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. The veteran infielder signed a two-year deal with the Reds in December.
Today is the deadline for players and teams to submit arbitration figures. The sides will then settle on a salary between the team's proposed number and the player's proposed number or go to an arbitration hearing. Arbitration eligible players are under team control, so the clubs don't risk losing them - it's a question of how much the players will earn.
Yesterday, 11 players avoided arbitration. We could see just as many agreements trickle in today and we'll keep you posted on them right here and with our Arb Tracker. The latest updates will be at the top of the post:
- The Angels have agreed to terms with Reggie Willits and Howie Kendrick, tweets Bill Shaikin of The Los Angeles Times. Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register tweets that Kendrick will earn $3.3MM, Willits $775K (on Twitter).
- The Giants agreed to terms with Santiago Casilla on a one-year deal worth $1.3MM with incentives, according to ESPN Deportes' Enrique Rojas (on Twitter). The team also announced that they avoided arb with Jonathan Sanchez and Ramon Ramirez (on Twitter). Sanchez will earn $4.8MM with incentives tweets Hank Schulman of The San Francisco Chronicle while Ramirez will earn $1.65MM according to Janie McCauley of The Canadian Press.
- The Braves agreed to terms with Peter Moylan and Eric O'Flaherty, according to MLB.com's Mark Bowman (on Twitter). Moylan gets $2MM, O'Flaherty gets $895K according to Dave O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (on Twitter).
- The Mariners agreed to terms with Brandon League, David Aardsma and Jason Vargas, the team announced. Aardsma will earn $4.5MM with plenty of incentives, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (plus Twitter link).
- The Rangers agreed to terms with C.J. Wilson and Nelson Cruz, according to MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan (Twitter links). Cruz gets $3.65MM, and Wilson gets $7.05MM with a chance to earn another $100K according to his agent Bob Garber, via email.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Chase Headley (2.535MM) and Tim Stauffer ($1.075MM), according to MLB.com's Corey Brock (on Twitter).
- The Phillies and Kyle Kendrick avoided arbitration with a $2.45MM deal, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). The team has confirmed the deal.
- The Pirates announced that they agreed to terms with Joel Hanrahan. It's a $1.4MM deal, according to Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (on Twitter).
- The Cubs agreed to a one-year deal with Tom Gorzelanny, despite reports that a trade to Washington is imminent. Gorzelanny will earn $2.1MM next year, according to Mark Zuckerman of NatsInsider.com (on Twitter). They also announced a two-year, $4.7MM deal with Sean Marshall.
- The Diamondbacks agreed to a one-year deal with Joe Saunders.
- The Padres agreed to a $2.535MM deal with Mike Adams, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter links).
- The Angels agreed to a $3MM deal with Erick Aybar and a $2.975MM deal with Kendry Morales.
- The White Sox agreed to a $5.05MM deal with Carlos Quentin, according to Rosenthal.
- The Braves agreed to a $3.1MM deal with Martin Prado and a $3.25MM deal with Jair Jurrjens according to Rosenthal.
- The Orioles agreed to a $5.85MM deal with J.J. Hardy, according to Rosenthal.
- The Athletics agreed to a $4.75MM deal with Kevin Kouzmanoff, according to Slusser (Twitter link).
- The Giants avoided arbitration with Cody Ross, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (Twitter link). Ross will earn $6.3MM in 2011.
- The Red Sox avoided arbitration with Jonathan Papelbon ($12MM) and Jacoby Ellsbury ($2.4MM).
- The Yankees avoided arbitration with Joba Chamberlain ($1.4MM), Phil Hughes ($2.7MM) and Boone Logan ($1.2MM), according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (all Twitter links).
- The Dodgers agreed to a $6.275MM deal with Chad Billingsley, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The White Sox agreed to a $6MM deal with John Danks, according to Heyman (on Twitter).The Cubs avoided arbitration with Matt Garza and agreed to a $5.95MM deal, according to Heyman (on Twitter).
- The Indians avoided arbitration with Shin-Soo Choo, the team announced. The deal is worth $3.975MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Twins avoided arbitration with Matt Capps ($7.15MM) and Glen Perkins ($700K), according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (on Twitter).
- The Rays avoided arbitration with Andy Sonnanstine, agreeing to a deal worth $913K plus incentives, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times (on Twitter).
- The Mets avoided arbitration with Mike Pelfrey, agreeing on a deal worth close to $4MM, according to Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com.
- The Brewers avoided arbitration with Prince Fielder and Manny Parra, signing the players to one-year deals, the team announced. Parra will earn $1.2MM, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Dallas Braden ($3.35MM) and Conor Jackson ($3.32MM), according to MLB.com's Jane Lee (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Brandon Morrow, the team announced.
- The Indians announced that they agreed to a one-year deal with Rafael Perez (Twitter link). It's worth $1.33MM, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Athletics avoided arbitration with Josh Willingham, agreeing to a $6MM deal, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter).
- The Astros signed Michael Bourn to a one-year, $4.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Brian McTaggart (on Twitter).
- The Nationals announced (on Twitter) that they avoided arbitration with Michael Morse.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Anibal Sanchez, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter). They agreed to a $3.7MM deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com (Twitter link).
- The Orioles avoided arbitration with Felix Pie, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun (Twitter links). The deal is for $985K.
- The Blue Jays avoided arbitration with Rajai Davis, agreeing to a two-year, $5.25MM deal with the outfielder.
- The Marlins avoided arbitration with Clay Hensley and agreed to a $1.4MM deal, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro (on Twitter).
- The Astros agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal with Jeff Keppinger, avoiding arbitration, according to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The White Sox agreed to a one-year, $1.6MM deal with Tony Pena, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (Twitter link).
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Ryan Ludwick with a $6.775MM deal, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).
- The Astros avoided arbitration with Clint Barmes, signing the infielder to a one-year, $3.925MM deal, according to Rosenthal. The Astros confirmed the deal.
- The Rockies avoided arb with Felipe Paulino and agreed to a one-year, $790K deal, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post (on Twitter).
- The Blue Jays announced that they have agreed to terms with Yunel Escobar on a $2.9MM deal for 2011.
- The Indians signed Chris Perez for 2011, avoiding arbitration, the team announced (on Twitter). It's a $2.225MM deal, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (on Twitter).
- The Royals announced that they agreed to terms with Kyle Davies on a one-year deal, avoiding arbitration. It's a $3.2MM deal, according to MLB.com's Dick Kaegel (on Twitter).
- The Reds avoided arbitration will Bill Bray, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer (on Twitter). The AP says the deal is for $645K.
- The Nationals avoided arbitration with Doug Slaten, and agreed to a one-year, $695K deal according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post.
- The Padres avoided arbitration with Heath Bell and agreed to a one-year, $7.5MM deal.
Links for Thursday night..
- The Yankees will pursue Carl Crawford if they do not land Cliff Lee, writes Newsday's Ken Davidoff.
- There's mutual interest between the Giants and Aubrey Huff, but talks between the two parties have not advanced lately, writes Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com.
- The Dodgers have signed a pair of Japanese amateur pitchers, Kazuya Takano and Kazuki Nishijima, according to Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times.
- Rockies starter Jhoulys Chacin is "untouchable" in trade talks, a team source told Troy Renck of The Denver Post.
- Brian McTaggart of MLB.com writes that the Astros got better in the long run by dealing for Clint Barmes this afternoon.
- Matt Thornton of the White Sox told MLB.com's Scott Merkin that he isn't concerned about hammering out a long-term deal with the club.
- The Phillies have decisions to make on several players in advance of tomorrow's midnight deadline to protect players from the Rule 5 draft, writes MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.
- The Braves have named Jonathan Schuerholz, son of team president John Schuerholz, the manager of their Gulf Coast league affiliate, writes David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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.
In case there was any doubt, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Brewers aren't going to trade Ryan Braun. However, the Brewers are open to trading any of their other top hitters for rotation help. That means Rickie Weeks, Casey McGehee and, of course, Prince Fielder would be available in the right deal. Here are the details and the rest of Rosenthal's rumors:
- The Brewers don't want to trade top players for back-of-the-rotation starters, but teams are reluctant to include top young pitchers in potential deals.
- The Padres have spoken repeatedly to the Brewers about minor league infielder Brett Lawrie, who could be obtained for young pitching.
- Adrian Gonzalez is still drawing trade interest, even though he won't be ready to swing a bat until the end of Spring Training.
- Two GMs tell Rosenthal that the Red Sox are open to trading Felix Doubront. One says Boston would part with the left-hander "in a heartbeat" and the other guaranteed the Red Sox will trade him by mid-summer. Red Sox GM Theo Epstein told Rosenthal that the Red Sox "value Felix tremendously" and that the report "couldn't be further from the truth."
- Every young Orioles pitcher "could be in play for the right bat," Rosenthal reports.
- If the Marlins trade Dan Uggla, they would use the savings to sign at least one free agent. John Buck is a target for the Marlins regardless of whether they trade or extend Uggla.
- The A's don't have interest in Mark Reynolds.
- The Rockies are drawing lots of interest in Clint Barmes. They could trade or non-tender the infielder if they aren't able to sign him to a multi-year contract.
- Cody Ross and Javier Lopez are strong candidates to receive extensions from the Giants.
Links for Sunday evening, with the regular season behind us and the playoff picture defined...
- Angels GM Tony Reagins tells Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times he's "confident we'll be able to add an important piece."
- As passed along by NPB Tracker's Patrick Newman on Twitter, Sanspo reports that a posting announcement will come soon regarding Japanese pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma. The righty, 30 in April, posted a 2.82 ERA, 6.9 K/9, 1.6 BB/9, and 0.49 HR/9 in 201 innings this year for Rakuten.
- Ichiro Suzuki's 10-and-5 rights kicked in today after the Mariners' game, tweets Larry Stone of the Seattle Times.
- In his end-of-the-season press conference, Red Sox GM Theo Epstein indicated fixing the bullpen and retaining important free agents are his offseason priorities (WEEI's Alex Speier reporting). Epstein fielded all kinds of questions and was noncommittal in most cases, but the transcript is still worth a read.
- Clint Barmes would like to return to the Rockies if he can't find an everyday role elsewhere, he explained to Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post. We discussed Barmes' non-tender candidacy in August, and 79% of MLBTR readers predicted he'll be cut loose.
- The Dodgers officially announced Brad Ausmus' retirement with a press release. Ausmus revealed his decision to reporters in July.