|The Astros traded hard-throwing righthander Felipe Paulino to the Rockies in an effort to land a starting shortstop. Houston acquired 31-year-old Clint Barmes, a strong defensive second baseman who filled in capably for Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki during disabled list visits. Barmes played 47 games at short this season and 99 total in the past three years. He hits for solid power, especially versus lefthanders, and provides at least a temporary remedy for the Astros’ revolving door at shortstop, where Tommy Manzella, Angel Sanchez, Geoff Blum and Jeff Keppinger all started at least 10 games in 2010.|
|Felipe Paulino, rhp
Born: Oct. 5, 1983 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 270. Bats: R. Throws: R.
Career Transactions: Signed as nondrafted free agent by Astros, July 2, 2001.
The Astros never could get the results out of Paulino that his arm strength suggested were possible. He ran up a 5.83 ERA over 208 innings in parts of three seasons in Houston, despite striking out 8.1 batters per nine innings. Even with excellent raw stuff, Paulino proved to be alternately a bit too homer prone (1.8 per nine in 2009) or walk prone (4.5 per nine this season). He appears to have made a full recovery from the shoulder issues that shelved him in 2008, when he made only one appearance. He pitches downhill at 92-96 mph with plus life. His power slider features tight rotation and cuts away from righthanded batters, who as a group have hit just .248/.318/.385 in 218 big league plate appearances. He also throws a hammer curve to disrupt batters’ timing. Paulino has accumulated enough service time to qualify for arbitration for the first time this offseason, but he’ll be under Rockies club control for four seasons beginning in 2011.
|Clint Barmes, 2b/ss
Age: 31. Bats: R. Remaining Commitment: Arbitration-eligible for 2011 season ($3.325 million salary in ’10).
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.