Pirates laud incoming veteran SS Barmes
Asked by a fan Saturday at PirateFest why he opted to decline Ronny Cedeno's $3 million option and sign Clint Barmes to a two-year, $10.5 million deal, general manager Neal Huntington said Barmes was a more complete player.
Clint Hurdle gave a bolder answer: The manager told fans he was "passionate" about the Pirates making a change at shortstop.
Hurdle likened it to what happens when he and his wife go out to eat. If he asks her at the end of the meal how it was and she says it was OK, they don't return to that restaurant.
"At the end of the year, Ronny was OK," Hurdle said. "I expect more out of my shortstop than Ronny could bring."
Hurdle said he and Cedeno spent many days in his office challenging each other to find ways to improve. Huntington acknowledged Cedeno's strong year defensively and said the Pirates stuck with him as long as they did because they felt he had potential.
Huntington said Barmes is a stable, reliable defender who should hit a few more home runs, have better at-bats and help the Pirates take the next step. He hit .244 with 12 home runs and 39 RBI for the Astros last year; Cedeno, who remains a free agent, hit .249 with two homers and 32 RBI.
Barmes arrived in Pittsburgh on Thursday to take part in the annual event at David L. Lawrence Convention Center and begin meeting the players who, until now, he only knew as opponents.
The 32-year-old, who played for Hurdle with the Rockies, said at first some asked him why he picked Pittsburgh.
"But they must not follow a lot of baseball because, with what the team did last year, it is exciting, and I'm extremely excited to be a part of it," he said. "It's heading in the right direction, so hopefully I can come in and help with the process."
Catcher Michael McKenry crossed paths with Barmes in spring training with the Rockies and said he'll never forget his first impression.
"When I first got to big league camp, he put his arm around me and said, 'Anything you need, I'm here for you,' " he said. "He and (first baseman) Todd Helton kind of took me under their wing a little bit and showed me the way. ... When we signed him, I was absolutely stoked. He's a great person to have in Pittsburgh."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Morton scratched from Sunday’s start
- Saturday’s scouting report: Brewers at Pirates
- Martin’s homer rescues Pirates in 4-2 victory over Brewers
- Pirates analyst Kent Tekulve recovering after heart transplant
- Pitt notebook: Expanded game plan likely awaits Iowa
- Stats speak: Sliders stand between Pirates, playoffs
- Rossi: Melancon change good for Pirates
- Biertempfel: In wild-card game, Cole must get call
- Friday’s scouting report: Brewers at Pirates
- Rossi: The series that will define these Pirates
- Pirates hold on to beat Red Sox, complete 3-game sweep at PNC