PITTSBURGH -- Astros shortstop Clint Barmes is facing free agency this offseason for the first time in his career. While he's open to exploring his options, he's had a good experience in Houston and would like to return to the Astros.
"I'd love to come back here, but I haven't put a whole lot of thought into that yet," Barmes said. "Coming up to the offseason, I haven't talked to my agent much about that at all to even know what other options there even are. There's going to be a lot of changes [with the Astros] and a lot of things going on, which is another reason nobody knows what direction it's going to head."
Barmes, traded to the Astros from the Rockies last year, has been a valuable commodity on and off the field. A broken hand suffered in Spring Training led to a slow start at the plate, but he's one of the best defensive shortstops in baseball. He's hitting .243 with nine homers and 29 RBIs in 104 games.
Astros general manager Ed Wade thinks so highly of Barmes that he wasn't made available at the Trade Deadline. Wade told Barmes, who is making $3.925 million this year, that he wanted to keep him around to lead the Astros' young infield.
"That's stuff he didn't have to say," Barmes said. "He didn't have to tell me that. I think that definitely means a lot to me. It shows definitely how much he thinks of me being a part of all this. It meant a lot coming from him, and I definitely would like to be a part of what they have going on. It's going to be an interesting offseason, and I'm excited about that."