The Houston Astros sent right-handed starter Felipe Paulino to the Colorado Rockies for 32-year old infielder Clint Barmes on Thursday in the team's first offseason move. Houston general manager Ed Wade has said multiple times this offseason that his first priority is improving his middle infield situation. With incumbent second baseman Jeff Keppinger coming off a career year at the plate that saw him hit 34 doubles and start 122 games at second base.
Barmes is coming off a season where he hit .235/.305/.351 in 432 plate appearances. He started 39 games at shortstop and 69 games at second base for the Rockies. His best asset is his defense. In FanGraphs Fans' Scouting Reports, Barmes gets high marks for both his instincts and his hands/release around the bag. His arm strength isn't great, which has pushed him off shortstop in the past. With the Astros, Barmes will most likely back up both Keppinger and Tommy Manzella.
Paulino went 1-9 this season with a 5.11 ERA in 91 2/3 innings while striking out 83 and walking 46. His peripheral stats indicate he could have been a much better with an FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) of 3.44 and an expected FIP of 4.54. Both attempt to take out the part that luck and defense play in a pitcher's performance, with expected FIP normalizing a pitcher's home run total to the league average.
Still, an injury to his shoulder derailed Paulino's season and he did not appear in a game from June 20 through September 15. It was the second time in three seasons that Paulino has missed significant time due to an injury.