MILWAUKEE -- One of the Brewers' potential 2012 shortstops fell off the market Monday when Clint Barmes confirmed he'd chosen a two-year, $10.5 million deal with the Pirates.
"We decided [Pittsburgh's] offer was too good to pass up," Barmes told MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
Barmes, 32, said he picked the Pirates in part to reunite with manager Clint Hurdle, who was skipper in Colorado when Barmes broke into the Majors in 2003. He also wanted to remain at shortstop, where Barmes made 120 starts for the Astros in 2010. He's considered a top-flight defensive player.
The Brewers would have also offered the opportunity to man shortstop, and Barmes says they appeared willing to offer a two-year deal but told his agent they wanted time to see how the Prince Fielder situation would play out before making a move at shortstop.
General manager Doug Melvin checked in with agents for all of the notable free-agent shortstops during last week's General Managers Meetings in Milwaukee. He sat down Wednesday with Barry Meister, who represents Barmes.
Now the Brewers will have to look elsewhere. The door remains open for the return of Yuniesky Betancourt, though the Brewers have also made contact with free agents Rafael Furcal and, to a much lesser degree as of late last week, Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins.
"In talking with my agent and talking with the club, [the Pirates] were wanting to make a decision and they wanted to know by pretty much yesterday who their shortstop was going to be so they could continue to move on," Barmes said. "It was one of those things they had a few others guys lined up behind me, and the way it was explained to me, I was the first in line as far as who they wanted. They threw a great offer."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.