Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/21/11

Clint Barmes and Neal Huntington spoke with the media earlier via conference call about the signing of Barmes to a two year deal, which was made official today.  Here are some notes from the call:

Clint Barmes

On Clint Hurdle:

“A chance to play under (Clint Hurdle) again, and knowing him and playing for him earlier in my career definitely played a part in all this.”

On playing shortstop:

“If I can choose, I’d definitely want to play short over second base.”

On defense and defensive metrics:

“I can’t say that I’ve paid a whole lot of attention to (defensive metrics), I really don’t understand how they figure all of that stuff in or how they add it all up.”

“I obviously wouldn’t be where I’m at without my glove and with what I’ve done defensively.”

How Many Other Concrete Offers:

“I can’t say very many.  My agent had talked to a few teams…a lot of those teams were looking at more of a one year deal, and a couple of them were at second base.  This deal that the Pirates were offering, the guarantee two years at shortstop, it was hard to pass up.  They were looking to find a shortstop as soon as possible, and so we kind of had to make a decision on it.”

On Hitting at PNC Park:

“It’s a pretty deep left field, and it’s not as good to right handers maybe as left handers with the right field fence.  I have had some success here, and I’ve always enjoyed playing here, and that definitely helps with the decision to sign here.”

Neal Huntington

On the Signing:

“It’s a thin shortstop market. There are a good number of clubs that are going to need shortstops.”

“Reyes and Rollins were one and two, and for us, Clint was number three on that list.”

“We looked at the attributes that Clint brings to the table.  It’s an above average defensive player.  It’s positive intangibles.  He sits in the middle of the pack in terms of offensive production for shortstops.  Combining positionally average offense with above to well above average defense, with a quality guy that’s excited to be a part of what we’re doing, to a position that’s defense first for us, we thought it was a great fit.”

Comparison to Cedeno:

“Historically, in terms of production, it’s about a 70 point difference in terms of OPS, this last year in particular.”

“Clint is a very steady, very reliable, solid plus defender.  One of the best in baseball over the last couple of years.”

On Being Aggressive:

“Much like the catching market, we felt like it was in our best interests to go get the guy we wanted and felt like we had a legitimate chance to get.”

“There’s a cost associated with (getting a deal done early).  You’ve got to be aggressive. In Clint’s case it was probably guaranteeing the second year at the dollars that we went to. In (Rod Barajas’) case it was giving him a raise over what he had gotten.”

“We could have been patient, and maybe there’s a better deal out there for us in December, or maybe there’s a better deal out there for us in January on either of these players, but at the same time we might have ended up with our sixth choice for catcher and our ninth choice for shortstop.”

On Chase d’Arnaud:

“We still think the world of Chase, we still think Chase is going to be a very good big league shortstop.  We just need to take a step forward as an organization, and we felt like having Clint Barmes at shortstop for us this year as we go forward was the best way to take the step forward.”

“Still like Chase d’Arnaud. Still think he’s got a ways to go before he’s ready to be that everyday big league shortstop, but he’s going to get everything we have to get that out of him because we still think it’s in there.”

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