The Pirates take their sabermetrics seriously.
That point was never driven home more than Monday with the press release issued by the Pirates announcing the signing of free agent shortstop Clint Barmes to a two-year contract worth $10.5 million.
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The release included all the usual statistics. However, it also mentioned that Barmes led all National League shortstops in 2011 in UZR, an advanced defensive metric called Ultimate Zone Rating that can be found at Fangraphs.com, while playing for the Houston Astros.
"I can't understand how they figure all that stuff out or how they add it all up," Barmes said. "I do know that I wouldn't be where I'm at now without my glove. I take a lot of pride in my defense. It's neat to hear they are coming with up these kind of stats for that part of the game and it's neat that they think I've played pretty well defensively."
The advanced metrics also suggest that Ronny Cedeno played well in the field for the Pirates last season. He ranked fourth among NL shortstop in UZR behind Barmes, the Colorado Rockies' Troy Tulowitzki and the Cincinnati Reds' Paul Janish.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington, though, used another sabermetric stat to explain why the 32-year-old Barmes was a more attractive option than the 28-year-old Cedeno, who became a free agent earlier in the month when his $3-million club option for 2012 was not exercised.