Barmes picks Pirates

I just checked in with colleague Brian McTaggart, who checked back with Clint Barmes to clear up one point Barmes made this morning that Tom Haudricourt and others questioned. Barmes had said the Brewers offered a two-year deal. What he meant to say is that the sides discussed a two-year deal, but the Brewers indicated to Barmes’ agent they wanted some time to see how the Prince Fielder situation played out before making a move at shortstop. The Brewers never formally submitted an offer, Barmes just told McTaggart.  

That’s a big distinction, so Brian is updating his story with the new information and you can see my update below. The point remains that the Pirates’ offer was too good to pass, and one of the Brewers’ targets is off the shortstop market.

One of the Brewers’ shortstop targets fell off the free agent market on Monday, when Clint Barmes confirmed he’d chosen a two-year, $10.5 million deal with the Pirates.

“We decided [Pittsburgh’s] offer was too good to pass up,” Barmes told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart.

Barmes, 32, said he picked the Pirates in part to reunite with manager Clint Hurdle, who was skipper in Colorado when Barmes broke into the Majors in 2003. He also wanted to remain at shortstop, where Barmes made 120 starts for the Astros in 2010. He’s considered a top-flight defensive player.

The Brewers would have also offered the opportunity to man shortstop, and Barmes says they appeared willing to offer a two-year deal but wanted time to see how the Prince Fielder situation would play out before making a move at shortstop. General manager Doug Melvin checked in with agents for all of the notable free agent shortstops during last week’s General Managers Meetings in Milwaukee, including Barry Meister, who represents Barmes.

Now the Brewers will have to look elsewhere. The door remains open for the return of Yuniesky Betancourt, though the Brewers have also made contact with free agents Rafael Furcal and, to a much lesser degree as of late last week, Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins.

“In talking with my agent and talking with the club, [the Pirates] 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.”

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