Troy Renck of the Denver Post has an article up looking at a lot of Colorado Rockies off-season notes, but in his footnotes has a mention about the Pittsburgh Pirates. Renck expects the Pirates to pursue Clint Barmes, who played with Colorado from 2003-2010, with most of those years being under Clint Hurdle.
In my review of the shortstop free agent market, I noted that Barmes was one of the best options available for the Pirates, after the top guys like Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins. The main appeal with Barmes is his defense. He’s posted some amazing numbers in the past three years at the shortstop position, looking at his UZR/150. He had a 29.3 UZR/150 in 2009, although he only played 103 innings at the position. In 2010 he had a 14.9 UZR/150, playing 361 innings at the position. In 2011 he showed he could keep the performance up over the long haul, with a 10.8 UZR/150 in 1058.1 innings.
Offensively, Barmes doesn’t bring much to the table, although he could be an upgrade over what Ronny Cedeno did in 2011. Cedeno had a .249 average with a .636 OPS. Barmes had a .244 average in 2011 with a .698 OPS. That’s in line with his career .252 average and .703 OPS.
Barmes made $3.925 M in 2011 in what would have been his final year of arbitration. The Pirates bought out Cedeno’s $3 M option for $200 K last week. Renck has been a good source in the past on Rockies related rumors, and the connection between Barmes and Hurdle makes a lot of sense. It will be a situation to watch with the Pirates needing a starting shortstop for the 2012 season.