Rockies second baseman Clint Barmes will be eligible for arbitration one last time this winter. He's already earning $3.325MM this year; will the team tender a contract and potentially give him a raise for 2011?
Barmes, 31, lost most of his power this year en route to a .241/.307/.360 line through 400 plate appearances. By measure of UZR Barmes has played average defense at second base the last few years and as a bonus he has significant experience at shortstop.
The Rockies flirted with the idea of acquiring Dan Uggla as far back as the offseason, reportedly discussing offering Barmes and a prospect with the Marlins. Nonetheless, the Rockies made a multiyear offer to Barmes that would've guaranteed his 2010-11 salaries and included a club option for 2012. Instead, the Rockies now have the flexibility to cut him. Sometimes the looming possibility of a non-tender can kill offseason trade value, as in the case of Matt Capps last winter. If the Rockies don't intend to retain Barmes, it may make sense to move him now. Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post wrote on Thursday that a handful of teams are waiting for the Rockies to put Barmes on waivers.
If Uggla can't be had in the offseason, the Rockies could consider free agents such as Orlando Hudson or Juan Uribe to play second base. Internal options may include Jonathan Herrera, Eric Young Jr., and Chris Nelson.
Less than a year ago Barmes was coming off a 23 home run season and the Rockies wanted to lock him up. Assuming Barmes does not change teams this month, they must decide whether to even tender a contract for 2011. Click here to predict the Rockies' decision, and here to see the results.