Astros fill infield need, acquire Barmes

 The Astros made their first significant move of the offseason, acquiring infielder Clint Barmes from the Colorado Rockies on Thursday in exchange for right-handed pitcher Felipe Paulino.

Barmes, 31, has appeared in 665 games in his five-plus seasons in the Major Leagues, splitting time mostly between shortstop and second base. He hit .235 in 133 games in 2010 with 21 doubles, eight home runs and 50 RBIs.

Barmes started 69 games at second base and 39 games at shortstop this past season. He started 32 of 33 games at shortstop while Troy Tulowitski was on the 15-day disabled List, hitting .284 in that span with three home runs and 12 RBIs.

Barmes’ most productive season came in 2009 when he hit 23 home runs with 32 doubles and 76 RBI in 154 games as the Rockies everyday second baseman. His home run total ranked third in the NL for second basemen.

One of the goals for Astros general manager Ed Wade this offseason was adding some offensive punch in the middle infield.

“We’re excited to add Clint to our club,” Wade said. “He’s a plus defensive player at two positions, has gap and some home run power and has great makeup. It’s tough to give up a power arm like Felipe’s, but Clint fits a need that we had to address.”

Barmes has a .254 career average in 665 games with 61 home runs and 285 RBIs. He’s appeared in 333 games at shortstop and 306 games at second base. Barmes was the Rockies’ Opening Day shortstop in both 2005 and 2006. In 2009, he became one of just three middle infielders in Rockies history to tally 50-or-more extra-base hits. His 126 RBIs since 2009 rank fourth among NL second basemen.

Paulino, 27, was 1-9 in 19 appearances (14 starts) for the Astros in 2010 with a 5.11 ERA. For his Major League career, all with Houston, he posted a 6-21 mark in 47 appearances with a 5.83 ERA. Paulino had been in the Astros organization since signing as a non-drafted free agent on July 2, 2001.

1 Comment

The Astros had to find some one to replace Blummy. Barnes has done well defensively for the Rockies and his bat is average. I think blummy is the better option still, but I’m biased. Giving up Paulino for Barnes may prove to be a mistake. Paulino is 27 and still has a year or two left to prove himself before he is considered subpar. Now we need a fifth starter. Figgy had a decent year, but he doesn’t eat up many innings. Additionally, the Stros need some guys who’ll take some looks at the plate and maybe even hit the ball consistently.

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