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Trade Watch: Some More on Clint Barmes

With the rumblings that the Tigers have had scouts checking out Clint Barmes, I e-mailed Russ from Purple Row to see if he could pass along anything he's heard. Here are his comments:

I don't see the Rox trading Barmes at the deadline unless some team wants to over pay for him. While I am not a fan of Barmes, I do believe the Rockies need to keep him as insurance in case Matsui walks during the off-season. Matsui's performance of late is concerning and that could keep him in the Rockies' price range as a FA this fall.

Now, there is some thought that Barmes' venison incident in June 2005 is what has disrupted his career, but it was clear around the time of the injury that Barmes was slowing down and the league was figuring him out. From and OPS of 1.106 in April to .675 in May. He did have an absurdly high BABIP (.423) that first month and a well below average one in May (.265), so you might think he's somewhere in between that kind of production. But with his 2006 season the answer was clear that he wasn't suited to be a starter. If the Tigers are going to use him in an utility role, I think that might work.

Unless the Tigers are going to give up a guy who could play short and second next season for the Rockies in return for Barmes then it's probably not going to happen. Of course, if the Tigers had a guy like that in the minors, wouldn't they bring him up instead of trading for Barmes?

On an anecdotal note, I'm from NY so I only get to see the Rockies in person for one series a year. In the final game of the series at Shea Stadium I was there with my friend, a Mets fan. One of my regular readers goes to college in NY and she went to the game with one of her friends, a Mets fan. They were in the upper deck and I was on the field level. When Clint Barmes had his first AB, there was a man on first with one out. I turned to my friend and told him "Barmes is going to hit into a double play." He did. After the game I met up with Hilary (the regular reader) and she told me she said the same thing to her friend. You can script Barmes AB's before they happen.

Wow, that almost sounds like the shortstop version of Craig Monroe.

We know, however, that the Tigers place more of a premium on defense for that utility position. After all, they did trade for Neifi last year, and he brings nothing with the bat. But defense also seems to be the reason Leyland and Dombrowski are skittish about Omar Infante getting a lot of time in the infield if Carlos Guillen or Placido Polanco get hurt.

Purple Row's other blogger, Rox Girl, makes an interesting comparison, saying that Barmes could be much like Craig Counsell, who Dave Dombrowski acquired for the Florida Marlins' World Series run in 1997. I'm not sure Tigers fans would be too pleased with the prospects she mentions, but from all accounts, the Rockies aren't going to just give Barmes away, either.

So that's two straight posts about shortstops today. I'd love to post something about a reliever - believe me.