Saturday, October 1, 2011
Free Agent: Clint Barmes
Astros Shortstop Clint Barmes is a now a free agent. Should the Astros resign him? They originally acquired Barmes in a trade for pitcher Felipe Paulino before the 2011 season from the Colorado Rockies. This turned out to be on the more quiet lopsided trades of the year. Paulino didn't win any games (and lost 4) for Colorado, posting a 7.36 ERA (all in the bullpen). This posted a -.3 WAR. He was then traded to Kansas City for cash. He figured out things in Kansas City, starting 20 games, an ERA of 4.11, and a WAR of 1.9. This means, according to the Halladay Standard (see Page on WASP above), he was worth 5.7 million. Colorado received much much less than that from Kansas City. This year for the Astros, Clint Barmes posted a .82 PPG and 3.07 PAPP. These aren't real good numbers, fitting in with the Astros anemic offense. However, mainly because of his defense, he posted a 2.9 WAR (1.5 WAR on defense). This equals a nice 1351 WASP. This means the trade was an easy win for the Astros and a disaster for the Rockies (the Rockies had to trade for Mark Ellis during the year to replace Barmes). Now on to the question as to whether the Astros should re-sign Barmes. According to the Halladay Standard, he deserved 8.7 million for his production last year. However, his WAR was better in 11 than it was in 09, and 10. It is always risky, and rarely smart to give a player money because of one year of production. In the past 3 years, he has averaged a 2.3 WAR. According to that metric, he is worth 6.1 million dollars. In his career, he has actually posted a .99 PPG, meaning (if track record means a thing) you can actually expect better offense than he produced last year. However, the track record also shows you can't expect the defense you got from him this year. There are reports that the Astros could send Jimmy Paredes to Shortstop, and start Chris Johnson at third next year and not re-sign Barmes. Paredes was a liability at 3rd (-.2 Defensive WAR) and its hard to expect he would be better at SS, but he was decent on offense (.5 Offensive WAR in 46 games) with a .89 PPG (1.6 PPG in AA). Chris Johnson has been terrible on defense (-2.3 defensive WAR in 212 games), and mediocre at best on offense (2.0 O-WAR in his career, .9 PPG). This is certainly a big drop off from Clint Barmes. It seems that if you can get Barmes for 4 or 5 million, you should keep him if you are the Astros. If he is going to cost more, I would pass and pursue other options. Carlos Lee is on his final year of his massive deal and should be moved, and getting a SS prospect (along with pitching) could/should be part of the package.