Not three days after espousing how terrible this off-season has been, the Astros traded Felipe Paulino to Colorado for Clint Barmes.
"We're excited to add Clint to our club. He's a plus defensive player at two positions, has gap and some home run power and has great makeup. It's tough to give up a power arm like Felipe's, but Clint fits a need that we had to address."
This will be significantly expanded on throughout the next few days, I'm sure, but here's the immediate take: I like it. In another Alyson Footer tweet, Wade said this doesn't really affect Keppinger or Manzella, but of course it does. Paulino had a great arm, when it was healthy. Problem is, it hasn't really been healthy.
Is Barmes the player he was in 2005 (.289/.330/.434) or even 2008 (.290/.322/.468)? No. His OPS since 2005 has been .598, .534, .790, .734, and .656. And that's playing in Colorado. Should we be concerned about his ability to produce? Sure. But the Astros just made a low-risk move that might pay off. If Felipe Paulino turns into Ubaldo Jimenez, we can all chalk this up to kerrazy Ed Wade shenanigans, but name a player - other than 2008 Lidge - who Wade got rid of that went on to be a star.
It's my guess that Barmes is now your de facto SS1, and Manzella is SS2. Manzella will have to tear the cover off the ball, or Barmes will have to show up with poop stains on the outside of his pants, in Spring Training.