Pirates Agree to Terms With Clint Barmes

Buster Olney reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates are close to re-signing shortstop Clint Barmes.

Jon Heyman says the two sides have agreed to terms.

Clint Barmes will be returning to Pittsburgh. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

Clint Barmes will be returning to Pittsburgh. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

There were a lot of people who didn’t like Barmes being on the team the last two years. Some of that had to do with his salary, which ended up being more than he was worth. Some of that had to do with a lack in trust in advanced defensive metrics, which grade him highly. Barmes does have value, especially to a team like the Pirates who prioritize ground ball pitchers and defensive shifts.

Over the last three years, he has graded as the best defensive shortstop in the majors, according to UZR. He doesn’t do anything with the bat, but his defensive value makes him worth bringing back as a bench player. He also has value as a starter when extreme ground ball pitchers like Charlie Morton are on the mound.

Jordy Mercer is expected to get the bulk of the work at shortstop this year. Mercer is an offense-first shortstop with below average defense. That gives Barmes additional value as a late inning defensive replacement. One of the needs the Pirates had going into the Winter Meetings was a backup shortstop, and this fills that need. Considering his defensive skills and the ground ball approach the Pirates have, it’s hard to think of a better option for that role.

UPDATE 12:37 PM: Buster Olney says that Barmes gets one year and $2 M.

That’s a good value. He was worth $7.3 M over the last two years, including $3.1 M last year in a role that he will probably hold again in 2014.

UPDATE 2:51 PM: Bill Brink says that Barmes could get an extra $1 M based on games played.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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