When general manager Ed Wade held shortstop Clint Barmes back at the trading deadline, there were more than a few fans who got a little peeved by that. Why should this team, which has so many holes to fill, hold back anyone who might help restock the farm system?â†µ
Barmes is a different case. I know he's going to be expensive and he's not much of an offensive player. However, his defense is very, very good at shortstop. It's maybe one of the biggest reasons why Houston isn't the worst defensive team in the league (they're just the fifth-worst).
But, things get more complicated this winter. Barmes will be a free agent for the first time in his career. He won't be the top shortstop on the market, but could make an attractive backup option for some team who misses out on Jose Reyes or Jimmy Rollins. That will drive up his price.â†µ
The question is how much will Houston be willing to spend? Barmes has been worth $11.4 million this year by FanGraphs value, based on a WAR of 2.5 this season. If he's lucky, he'll end up getting a two or three year deal with an average annual value of half that, which would take him through his age 35 season.â†µ
I still think the Astros should pay the premium to bring back Barmes. Having a stabilizing defensive player at shortstop not only helps the pitching staff, but can be a big boost for a young infield. If we assume that Jimmy Paredes and Jose Altuve will be back at third and second, respectively, Barmes would help them by being that veteran presence to help until they gain some more experience.â†µ
The question then becomes, will Barmes want to be in Houston? If San Francisco comes calling, would that be more attractive than another last place finish in Houston?â†µ