Pirates agree with Barmes on 1-year deal
Pirates shortstop Clint Barmes makes a play against the Reds on Sept. 22, 2013, at PNC Park.
Photo by Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Clint Barmes reached a one-year, $2 million agreement with the Pirates on Thursday, a source confirmed to the Tribune-Review. After starting last season at shortstop, Barmes will return as a utility infielder, primarily to back up shortstop Jordy Mercer.
While Barmes struggled offensively in 2013, he graded out as an above-average defender, which is important for a pitching staff that led the major leagues in groundball rate. The Pirates on Wednesday added another pitcher with an above-average groundball rate in Edinson Volquez.
The Pirates committed $11 million to their 2014 payroll over the final two days of the winter meetings, with contracts given to pitchers Charlie Morton and Volquez and Thursday's deal with Barmes. Still, the Pirates could have enough financial flexibility to pursue a free-agent option at their most glaring remaining need: first base. The Pirates have been connected to free agent first baseman James Loney. After the Barmes signing, the Pirates' 25-man payroll is projected to be $73 million.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Wednesday the club was open to re-signing Barmes.
“We want to bring in a guy to catch the ball,” Hurdle said. “We want to get a guy that can catch the ball and put putouts away for the days that Jordy's not at shortstop.”
Hurdle said Barmes' potential role was made clear after the season.
“We had a conversation out the door in our exit interviews about the role we could envision he could play for us this year. We spelled it out directly to him,” Hurdle said. “I do believe this is always a challenging time for a player of Clint's (ability). He wanted to see if there was a job to be available to play a large volume of games to be a starting shortstop.
“He knows us. We know him. He's a very good defender. He's an impact defender. He's very good with our younger players. He's very good in the clubhouse. So there is a lot of tangible and intangible aspects of him we like.”
Travis Sawchik is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Sawchik_Trib.
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 â 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.