ESPN’s Keith Law has his take on the Pirates’ signing of shortstop Clint Barmes, and it’s a doozy.
The Pittsburgh Pirates giving two years and $10.5 million to Clint Barmes was the head-scratcher of the week, as Pirates fans must have felt like they were being haunted by the ghost of Pat Meares. Barmes can play an average shortstop, for now, but his at-bats are arguments for nihilism … I wouldn’t want to give him a spot on the 40-man roster, let alone guarantee him over $10 million for two seasons of outs. The Pirates declined a one-year, $3 million option on Ronny Cedeno; even if they think Barmes will be better in 2012 than Cedeno will (I disagree), they would have been better off with the shorter, less expensive commitment.
Saying that Barmes shouldn’t get a spot on the Pirates’ 40-man is way over the top, and according to most defensive metrics, the claim that Barmes is an “average” defensive shortstop is off, too. But the rest of Law’s take does make sense. Given Barmes’ age, there’s a strong chance he could decline on both sides of the ball, and his offense, which already isn’t particularly good, is likely to decline in PNC Park, where right-handed hitters go to die. Cedeno was just marking time at shortstop, but at least he was cheap.