Veteran Royals infielder Clint Barmes has decided to hang up his spikes after a 13-year MLB career. He was officially released by the Royals today, and tells Jessica Kleinschmidt of Fan Duel that he made the final decision to retire in the middle of a recent ballgame.
Barmes had been with Triple-A Omaha on a minor league pact, which he signed after K.C. released him from a prior deal with the club late this spring. He had scuffled to a .204/.255/.306 batting line in his 107 plate appearances.
Of course, the defensive specialist was never terribly productive with the bat, even in his prime, yet nevertheless managed to compile some strong seasons. At his best, Barmes delivered significantly above-average glovework and contributed solid baserunning while putting up offensive marks just under the league average.
Barmes had his best overall season in 2011 with the Astros, when he racked up 2.8 fWAR and 3.2 rWAR with highly-rated fielding and a .244/.312/.386 slash. That was his only season in Houston, and it came between lengthier stints with the Rockies (2003 through 2010) and the Pirates (2012 through 2014). Barmes last saw big league action last year with the Padres, playing in 98 games in a platoon role.
All told, the Fangraphs version of wins above replacement is stingier in valuing Barmes for his career, crediting him with 9.2 wins, as UZR was less bullish on his fielding than was Defensive Runs Saved. According to the Baseball-Reference tabulation, though, he was worth 15.4 WAR in the final tabulation.
Barmes says that he made every effort to return to the majors and feels comfortable with how things wrapped up. “Coming back I think I decided I would give Triple-A a little time to help make my decision easier for me as far as having no regrets when I do make that decision,” he said. “At this point I can honestly say I can look back and know I don’t have any regrets.”
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