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.