The Houston Astros announced that they have signed contracts with shortstop Clint Barmes and injured second baseman Jeff Keppinger, according to Zachary Levine. Barmes signed for a hair under 4 million and Keppinger agreed to a 2.3 million dollar deal. Richard Justice updated the story later on Twitter and The Chronicle, to say that Michael Bourn has signed a 4.4 million dollar deal to avoid arbitration.
Keppinger doubled his 2010 salary of 1.15 million after putting up a career year at the plate. The 30-year old just had surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot, which he suffered towards the end of last season. Barmes, 30, only received a raise of about 700,000 dollars from his 3.33 million dollar salary in 2010 with the Colorado Rockies. He is expected to be the Opening Day starter at short.
Bourn, coming off a second straight Gold Glove, got a raise of 2 million over his 2.4 million dollar salary in 2010. That's despite a slight regression at the plate last season that saw him hit .265/.341/.346. Some of us had speculated around here that Bourn would get a raise up to 5 million this season, but it appears the two sides came down a little short of that.
With just over 55 million dollars now committed to the payroll, the Astros still have yet to come to arbitration agreements with Hunter Pence and Wandy Rodriguez. All three went down to the wire last season, and I expect nothing different this time around.
What are your impressions of the contracts? Surprised Barmes didn't get more of a raise? Surprised Keppinger got paid so well to be a backup?