Pirates Close to Two Year Deal For Barmes

Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are the leaders for infield free agent Clint Barmes.  Rosenthal adds that the Giants and Brewers are both involved, and that a two year deal seems likely.

We’ve heard the Pirates and Barmes linked together in the past, although it’s mostly been drawing the line between Barmes wanting a starting shortstop gig and the Pirates having a starting shortstop need.  There’s also been the connection between Barmes and Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, who managed Barmes for most of his time in Colorado.

The free agent market has been very lucrative for middle infielders this off-season, with a lot of two year deals, and some high prices.  With the prices paid to Jamey Carroll and Mark Ellis, I wouldn’t be surprised if Barmes receives two years and at least $10 M total.  He’s a great defensive shortstop, and his bat would be an upgrade over what the Pirates had with Ronny Cedeno.  I had him as my top shortstop option on the market, outside of Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins, who the Pirates don’t have a chance for.

UPDATE 2:25 PM: Jon Heyman reports that the Pirates are close to a deal for Barmes.

UPDATE 3:37 PM: Heyman reports that he’s hearing the deal will be about $11 M total over two years.

UPDATE 8:52 PM: Another report from Heyman says that Barmes will receive $10.5 M over two years.  Heyman adds that they’re just putting the finishing touches on the deal.

  • Another dumpster dive by our GM.  A two year mistake makes this far worse.  So much for dArnaud and Mercer, they are now buried by our highest paid player. 

    And what a player he is.  He has been a SS one year of the last five.  His defense last year is rated by Baseball Reference as nearly identical to Cedenos.  His offense is far worse when you realize he has played in two great hitters parks, and is about to move into a bad one for righties.  Home/away OPS splits of 772/637 and OPS+ of 119/81.  Fortunately, instead of being 29 next year like Cedeno, he is going to be 33.

    This team is going to be awful next year.  There is no way the starting staff has collective career years again.  We have virtually no help in the farm system on the horizon,  Our GMs response is to replace average players with older, less talented ones.  Nice.

    • I’ve defended this plan management team for years now and I’m just done doing it. This team with this ownership is a loser. I Love the Pirates but it’s exhausting to lose all hope in the offseason and I have.

  • Things that people didn’t see probably played into this.

    From what I understand Cedeno was arrogant and reluctant to listen to coaching. I will give you that Cedeno was a leader, and you could see that by how often he’d go speak to struggling pitchers, but he wasn’t Hurdle’s guy. He’s gone, keep crying about it or get over it. The guy put up one solid year and people act like we just let Tulo walk. I can name you dozens of former Pirates who had really good years followed by atrocious ones.

    I’m for it. It’s a bit expensive and I’d rather see an option over a guaranteed year in 2013, but hell we got a decent player to want to play here. Good enough for me. Plus, the contract isn’t even finalized yet so we really don’t know anything at all yet.

    The fact is we’re worlds away from a time where Ramon Vasquez was manning short and Delwyn young was at second. Hell, Brian Bixler was considered one of our top prospects not all that long ago.

    Neal’s made the product better. Did he flip the world on it’s head? No. Have we broke the curse yet? No. Is our minor league system worlds better than it was? Yes. Do we have a product on the field that’s becoming enjoyable to watch? I’d say so.

    I’m on board. Pour me a glass of the Kool-Aid, Neal.

  • I don’t get the, “not an upgrade” talk. Are you really going to miss Cedeno’s two home runs and mindless gaffs?

  • @SI_JonHeymanJon Heyman barmes will be $10.5M over 2 yrs with the #pirates. just putting the finishing touches on.14 hours ago via web

  • My problem with this signing is that I dont know that we improved. It’s looking like we are wasting McCutchen’s years as a Pirate. Barajas, and Barmes makes this team the same or worse than last year. The only way we could improve on this offseason at this point is by adding Fielder or Pujols at 1B. That’s not happening.

    • Lyle Overbay was the Pirates starting 1B for 2/3 of the season. It will not take Fielder or Pujols to improve upon that. Signing Lee or Pena or trading for a 1B could potentially upgrade this year’s team quite significantly. Again remember it isn’t Lee’s production we are replacing it is Overbays.

      • Is Barmes better than Cedeno? I’m not so sure. Is Barajas better than Snyder and Doumit? I really dont think so. We need a real upgrade at 1B.  Lee and/or Pena will give some power but with the guys we added already we might hit .220 as a team. Again not going to happen but spend on a huge bat and tickets would sell because this ownership has something to prove. Plus if we’re building around Cutch and Walker nows the time to start adding.

  • I liked Ronny but lets not go getting too crazy. If the numbers say they are similar then even at the higher rate I’ll take Barmes. I’d bet Barmes has never laid down some inexplicable bunt or just spaced out multiple times during a game. These things do get factored in to these decisions and they are impact full . Think about your own job what guy would you rather work with, similar production, consistency does count for something.

  • Barmes is an upgrade over Cedeno si it is a good move. A bit pricy for him but is anyone really going to complain about the Pirates spending too much? By no means should this contract be something that impedes McCutchen extension talks so I have no real problem with this.

  • Barmes will be more steady than Ronnie. Good move by Neal.

  • On further review ……….

    Now i hear the deal is for 2/10 1/2m.

    If the Pirates would have paid Cedeno 3.8m this year and went out next year and got a free agent for 5m, that would have cost 8.5m so in essence Barmes is costing the Pirates 2m more. If Mercer , d’Arnaud or Ciriaco becomes good enough to take over mid-season in 2013 the Pirates may be able to trade Barmes or let him finish the year with the Bucs any way it isn’t that big of a hit as long as Barmes doesn’t get injured or go completly into the tank.

  • I was kinda leaning towards having the Bucs hold onto Cedeno at a (relatively) low price, since there really weren’t any appealing options out there (but I wish they would of shocked everyone and gone after Reyes with a big money offer).  Cedeno apparently pissed off enough people to burn that bridge.

  • The Pirates get us again. Overpay for the best of the rest instead of a good player.

  • Between Cedeno and Barmes, who could get you a better return for in the second year if D’Arnaud or Mercer develop into viable options? This question also probably plays into the choice between the two shortstops.

  • I love it. Barmes is a good shortstop with his head in the game at all times, has good pop, fields great. They have upgraded well here. I also love the Barajas signing. I’m impressed, Neil. Keep up the good work! Things are really going to start to come together during the next couple years for the Bucs, and it will be a fun ride.

  • Wow! Excellent!


  • I have to scratch my head over this one. The only thing I can come up with is intangibles such as hustle or clubhouse and veteran presence because there isn’t much difference in the numbers or glove that I can see. Barmes hit more HR but he was playing in Houston.I just hope this doesn’t turn out to be another Overbay/Diaz deal.

    • Barmes .794 ops at Coors for his career… .637 OPS on the road for his career. Anyone remember Pat Meares?

  • If the Pirates payroll is $45M, the payout to Barmes and Barajas, that is 21% of the total payroll. How can anyone say that is efficient use of resources?  

    • Poor analogy.  Nobody ever investigates the government for misappropriation of funds.  That’s why we have a $15,000,000,000,000 federal deficit.

      • Oh that’s not true.  I know of a couple people herding the buffalo in and around Leavenworth Kansas.

  • After seeing what guys like Jamey Carroll signed for, I expected to have to overpay for somebody like Barmes.  I a bit shocked we had to give the second year with a  $5.5 million dollar salary.

  • This is really disappointing.  Its Iwamura all over again.  The only bright spot is that we didn’t give up a relief pitcher to get him.

    Winning this race is like winning a drawing for date with a fat girl.

    • How is this disappointing?  We get arguably the best defensive SS in free agency for a little much, however, the team is spending money which is what people want.  Not a sexy sign, no.  It’s not supposed to be.  This move will sure up the defense at SS.  If he and Neil gel together it could be a great double play tandem which works well with Charlie Morton and other double play pitchers.

      If you expect another “Iwamura” I wouldn’t count on it, Iwamura was coming off of a major knee injury and was obviously not playing up to his prior years.  His knee was bad.  It was pretty obvious at the few games I went to and the many I watched on television.

  • This would be good.

  • What about the Furcal rumors I hear?

  • You could be looking at a lot different money with Cedeno than Barmes, and the fielding is pretty equal, hitting is not that much different either, Cedano had a low OBP, under .300, but Barmes was not that far ahead of him with a .312 OBP. This stat is my main stat for hitters that are not power hitters. I would take Barmes over Cedeno straight up, but not if the difference was 2mil a year and if they could get Cedano for 1 year.

    • Not that it’s the only stat that counts, but, Cedeno’s defensive WAR was 1.1 for 2011, -0.3 for 2010, and -0.6 for 2009.  And Barmes has had 1.5, 1.3 and 1.4 for the same years.  I also believe his UZR/150 career is 23.1 where as Cedeno is at 0.4.  I realize Barmes has played more innings, but, I think there is more pop in the bat, better defense, and that it is a solid sign.  I will take 2 years of good defense at SS, and at least 1 year possibly 2 years of solid defense at catcher.

      Can we hope for Pena or Lee next?