Barmes tells MLB.com he’s agreed to terms with Pirates

Clint Barmes, who appeared in 123 games for the Astros last season, has agreed to terms on a two-year, $10.5-million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Barmes, who was in Pittsburgh on Monday for a physical, told MLB.com he chose the Pirates because they guaranteed him two years and he was able to reunite with manager Clint Hurdle, who was Barmes’ manager in Colorado when he broke into the Major Leagues. It also appealed to Barmes he could remain at shortstop.

“In talking with my agent and talking with the club, they were wanting to make a decision and they wanted to know by pretty much yesterday who their shortstop was going to be so they could continue to move on,” Barmes said. “It was one of those things they had a few others guys lined up behind me, and the way it was explained to me I was the first in line as far as who they wanted. They threw a great offer.”

Barmes, 32, played a Gold Glove-caliber shortstop last season for the Astros, who couldn’t afford to re-sign him during their rebuilding phase. Barmes missed the first couple of weeks of the season after breaking his hand in Spring Training and wound up hitting .244 with 12 homers and 39 RBIs.

“I definitely enjoyed my time in Houston,”  he said. “I know talking to [general manager] Ed Wade and the plans for the club and different things, I hate to say that I didn’t fit. But the direction they were heading made it hard. I enjoyed my time there, especially the people in the organization and my teammates and I think their heading in the right direction.”

Barmes said Milwaukee talked to him about a possible two-year deal, but the Brewers wanted to wait until the Prince Fielder situation played out before making any moves.

“We decided [Pittsburgh’s] offer was too good to pass up,” Barmes said.

The Astros could choose to find a shortstop through a trade or free agency or fill void the internally with Angel Sanchez or Jimmy Paredes, who could be moved from third base, though the club is reluctant to do that.

“We’ll have to explore different options to find a front-line shortstop or someone to share time with Sanchez,” Wade said.

Because Barmes is a Type-B free agent, the Astros will receive a compensation draft pick in next year’s First-Year Player Draft if he signs officially with the Pirates before Wednesday.

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