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MLB Rumors: Clint Barmes, Pirates Nearing Deal

Is a two-year contract for a 33-year-old shortstop a good idea for the Pirates?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 25:  Clint Barmes #12 of the Houston Astros looks on against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 25, 2011 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 25: Clint Barmes #12 of the Houston Astros looks on against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 25, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
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Various sources report that the Pirates are closing in on a deal with free agent shortstop Clint BarmesJon Heyman tweets that it could be for two years and $11 million. 

The Pirates are in desperate need of a shortstop, so this move would come as a relief, if indeed it happens. The question is whether the Bucs handled the situation in the best way they could have.

We don't know the exact dollar figure on the deal yet, but let's say it is, in fact, two years and $11 million. A couple weeks ago, the Pirates decided to reject what was effectively a one-year, $2.8 million option on Ronny Cedeno. Barmes is arguably better than Cedeno offensively and defensively, but he'll be a bunch more expensive, and he's older. He has never really hit all that much, once one takes into account that he's played his whole career in the favorable hitting environments of Colorado and Houston. He's a good defensive player, but if his hitting declines in his age-33 season in 2012, which wouldn't be much of a stretch, paying him $5.5 million in 2013 is going to be really annoying, especially since the Pirates will hopefully be closer to competing then than they are now. A strong argument can be made that the Pirates should have just picked up their option on Cedeno and concentrated on their many other holes.

We'll be following this deal and will post again if it becomes official. In the meantime, you can discuss this move with fellow Pirates fans at Bucs Dugout.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.