The Pittsburgh Pirates have kept in contact with Clint Barmes, according to Bill Brink of the Post-Gazette.
#Pirates, who seek a defensive-minded SS to pair with Jordy Mercer, have kept in touch with Clint Barmes, source says.
— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) December 9, 2013
The Pirates look to be going with Jordy Mercer as the starting shortstop next year, which makes sense as he posted a 1.4 WAR in about half a season’s worth of plate appearances. His value was driven by his offense at the shortstop position, although his defense was below average. Barmes has the best UZR/150 of any shortstop in the majors over the last three seasons. He would be a great option to pair with Mercer, since he could come in as a late inning defensive replacement, or start when the Pirates have an extreme ground ball pitcher like Charlie Morton on the mound.
Barmes doesn’t do anything offensively, making him an older version of Brendan Ryan. The Yankees recently signed Ryan to a two-year, $5 M deal. The deal pays him $2 M per year, with a mutual option for 2016 at $2 M with a $1 M buyout. Barmes would be worth $2 M a year based on what he has done the previous two years with the Pirates (average value per year: $3.6 M). Even in 2013 when he played a reduced role he was worth $3 M.