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.