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Clint Barmes Should Be Extended

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There is a reason Miguel Tejada got a job as a shortstop last winter, despite multiple seasons of evidence that his skills had eroded to the point that he was a liability there. The reason? Shortstop is a damned hard position to fill on any roster.

The Astros lucked into a pretty good player there in Clint Barmes. He's going to be a free agent and may just have snuck into Type B status before he goes. What that means is that he's going to be in demand on the market for those who lose out on Jose Reyes or can't afford Jimmy Rollins. MLB Trade Rumors released a story yesterday on what Barmes' stock may be and came up with a two-year, $8 million deal. 

If that's what gets it done, Barmes would push the Astros budget up to $55 million for next season, assuming they resign all the arbitration eligibles and don't trade either big-ticket pitcher. What's a little unsettling is that Ed Wade's comment in the above story makes it sound like the Astros might not be able to afford that $4 million bump. 

Still, Barmes' biggest asset is his defense, which provides a stability to a young infield. Having someone who plays a solid shortstop is a boon to both Jimmy Paredes and Jose Altuve. He may make some bad errors from time to time, but his smoothness is where he excels. Until Jonathan Villar is ready or the Astros feel like Brandon Wikoff could man the position, Barmes needs to stick around.