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UPDATE: Pirates the favorites to sign Clint Barmes

Nov 19, 2011, 2:15 PM EDT

Clint Barmes Getty Getty Images

UPDATE: Jon Heyman of hears that Barmes is expected to receive a two-year contract worth around $11 million.

2:15 PM: Clint Barmes has drawn a surprising amount of interest in the early days of the Hot Stove season, but Ken Rosenthal of hears that the Pirates appear to be the current favorites to sign him. Jon Heyman of is hearing similar information.

Barmes, who turns 33 in March, batted .244/.312/.386 with 12 home runs, 39 RBI and a .698 OPS over 495 plate appearances with the Astros this season. He is regarded as an elite defender and would represent an improvement for the Pirates, who had a lousy .249/.294/.335 batting line and .629 OPS out of the shortstop position this past season. Pittsburgh has an opening after declining Ronny Cedeno‘s $3 million option late last month.

The Giants and Brewers are also involved in the bidding for Barmes, who Rosenthal hears will likely receive a two-year contract. Chances are he’ll sign for less money than Rafael Furcal, but as Matthew noted in his Top 111 free agents, there’s a case to be made that he’s the third-best shortstop available behind Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins.

  1. stex52 - Nov 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM

    I guess the Astros will non-tender. I haven’t heard for sure. He was hurt a lot, but not too bad when he played. But they have much bigger problems to deal with than an average shortstop, and it sounds like he might get surprisingly expensive.

  2. Gonzo - Nov 19, 2011 at 3:56 PM

    Is he that good of a defender? Because his offense is way less than stellar.

  3. mojosmagic - Nov 19, 2011 at 6:06 PM

    Lot of money for that kind of offensive production. Their are a lot of no hit wonders who can field as well as Barnes who has average range.

  4. drmonkeyarmy - Nov 19, 2011 at 6:19 PM

    A few thoughts:
    1. That is too much money to give Clint Barmes.
    2. Barmes is a tremendous defensive player particularly at SS and has above average range for sure.
    3. This really puts the pressure on the Phillies to resign Rollins unless they are sold on Galvis now.

    • paperlions - Nov 20, 2011 at 12:25 PM

      Yeah, this sucks….I was hoping the Cardinals could get Furcal on a deal like this…which is probably not realistic now….I don’t think they’ll go more than 2 year and $12M for him…now he’s probably set on getting at least $8M/year.

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