As a meta layer on top of the rumor season, I find player reactions to those rumors to be quite entertaining. And, sometimes, telling.

Unfortunately, players rarely give you much more than, “I don’t pay attention to that stuff, and I just try to do my job.” Groan. Give me something.

Darwin Barney was recently asked about his name popping up in trade rumors over the last couple weeks, after a couple seasons of relative quiet for him on that front. His thoughts were at least modestly interesting.

‘‘It’s almost funny to read some of the stuff because it’s so frequent,’’ Barney told Gordon Wittenmyer of various Cubs trade rumors. ‘‘But it’s just part of the game, and it’s part of being on a team that’s not necessarily in contention at this time of the year ….

‘‘If anything, it just creates an unknown,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s not necessarily an anxiety, but it’s just a feeling of what-if. But that goes away really fast because you go to the cage, start working, getting ready for your day, and it just feels like it couldn’t happen. Until it does ….

‘‘You just never know,’’ he said. ‘‘You have a job to do, and that’s what’s first and foremost, and that’s what we all focus on.’’

Despite the Cubs’ struggles, Barney was not willing to suggest he’d welcome a trade to a contender.

‘‘All of us like the direction we’re headed in,’’ he said. ‘‘We like the vision that [the front office has]. So I don’t think there’s anyone in this clubhouse that wants to leave. I don’t think there’s anyone that really would be happy if they got traded. That’s just not the way you play the game.

‘‘I’m proud to be drafted by the Cubs and be able to be in the big leagues with Chicago. And I feel like it’d be a sad day if I ever had to go. But I think that’s the way a lot of guys feel. We all want to be here for that ….

‘‘Just being in the Cubs’ organization, you have an opportunity to do something special in sports,’’ he said. ‘‘And if you can bring a championship to Chicago, I mean, there’s nothing more special than that ….

‘‘Until then, it’s not really worth worrying about [the rumors]. It’s fun to joke about.’’

Speaking of fun to joke about, BP’s Colin Wyers has a funny take on Barney’s comments, and what it would be like if he really opened up about being traded to another team.

Barney’s a guy who has a fair bit of value to just about any team, whether as a starter at shortstop or second base, or a top back-up. Whether that value will exceed the Cubs’ own perceived value of Barney will determine whether he’s legitimately shopped this Summer.

  • Yohler

    I know Darwin has his detractors, but I think he’s worth building around. Right now the Cubs have 3 top notch young infielders to build on.

    • Grant

      Calling Barney “top notch” is a bit of a stretch, but he plays his position well. I don’t think he’ll ever be an all-star, but he’s not a liability as others have suggested.

      • Carew

        He’s the type that does his job very, very quietly. I don’t think he’ll ever get big recognition

      • Ted

        Let’s be happy with an 8-hole hitter at every position!

        EDIT: As long as he’s scrappy

        • Martin

          Now that’s a strawman argument if I ever heard one…

        • hansman1982

          If you can field a team that is league average offensively but above average defensively at every position, you will win a lot of games (so long as you have above-average pitching).

        • Yohler

          You’re not going to have all stars at every spot on the field.

  • Chris84

    I like that Darwin Barney. He seems like a smart, genuine guy.

  • John

    If the players were able to be that honest and open would be great but unfortunately everyone has to be pc. Don’t you just love office politics? I was able to watch Darwin when he played with the Chiefs. The team that I was coaching was able to be in the dugout during bp and infield and meet the players etc. He always had a smile on his face and was very personable to the kids and to us old wanabees. He took time also after the games to talk and seemed to have a great head on his shoulders.

  • mak

    Was discussed yesterday a bit on the Rizzo thread, but it may make sense to deal him for a legit return (at least one mid-rotation ceiling SP prospect). I don’t know if he will fetch that, but there shouldn’t be an urgency to trade him. Personally, I’m a fan — seems like a good guy, does the little things. I wish he would walk/steal a bit more to bump his offensive value.

  • ichabod

    eveyone needs at least one darwin barney on their respected teams. these kind of players find homes and can be valued. why not with the cubs? keep him

  • terencemann

    It seems like the clubhouse culture is pretty decent for a team that is this bad. It’s really great to see some of the players rally around Soriano and call him a good teammate and good guy. It’s nice to see players speak highly of the vision for the future.

    Barney’s not a great player but I think Kevin Goldstein nailed it when he said something like “He could spend a decade in the majors”. He plays 3 positions very well and isn’t a complete waste as a hitter. (I’m sure he could handle first base just fine, too). Barney’s the type of player you include in a trade when you’re trying to acquire a major league asset. I could see him getting traded for a very good young and cost controlled closer or for a solid cost-controlled back of the rotation pitcher if it were a one-for-one trade.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      A lot of bad teams have great clubhouse chemistry, and a lot of very good teams have horrible clubhouse chemistry.  Yes, the losing wears on the players: but a lot of these guys are probably just glad to be in MLB.

  • EB

    Barney seems like a great guy. Last year in Pittsburgh, I got some of the Cubs players’ autographs outside the stadium before they went in for the game. Of them all, Darwin was definitely the friendliest, most polite, and most accommodating. Just seemed to be one genuine, courteous, and personable individual.

  • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

    I think I’ve made it clear many times, my feelings about Barney. I don’t trade him unless I’m guaranteed an improvement to the team, which, guaranteed, is next to impossible. Add a quality, slugging third baseman, and you’ve got a solid infield to build around for the next decade…

    • JulioZuleta

      Yeah…but you’re biased. You just don’t want to have to change your name.

      • Brian

        I hope Barney doesn’t throw it to LaHair for a double play now!

        • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

          LOL! I have been thinking about that for awhile now and am looking into a cool symbol that will represent “the moniker formally known as CastrotoBarneytoLaHair”…
          @Brian: What? the ole 6-4-9 is not common???

          • Brian

            It would make for some good talk!

          • The Other Matt

            Hmmm, I wonder if there has ever been a 6-4-9 in the history of MLB. I’m sure some BN’er out there will be able to find out!

            • Leroy K.

              never been done i believe. I’m pretty good at google lol…

            • cubchymyst

              DP that ends 4-6-8 was the closest I could find

              You had to see the Double Play of the Year to believe it, so take a look (as soon as you finish reading this column). But get out your scorecards first, because you’ll be watching those creative New Britain Rock Cats turn your basic 3-2-6-1-5-3-4-6-8 DP on May 26, ending with the center fielder applying the tag while covering second base. Of course he was.

              Here is a link


              • Cubbie Blues

                How about the 8-6-3 triple play.

  • Norm

    Barney is fine to have for a non-competing team until he hits arbitration, then it’s time to move on.

    • Joker

      I don’t think his numbers will dictate a huge payday come arbitration time, but I see your point. If you have to pay him more than $2-3 million, move on if you have a cost controlled non arb eligible type who you can pay $325K. Makes fiscal sense.

    • hansman1982

      that depends. If the 2012 version of Barney is who he is now, he is a top-10 second baseman in all of baseball. For that, he is valuable throughout his Arb years.

  • Robert

    I live in Atlanta & down here the Rumor mill is crazy. I think im almost 100% sure the Braves will land Dempster or Garza. The Braves rotation is whack right now, for goodness sake they sent down one of there best relievers, (Kris Medlan) down to Triple A to stretch him out as a starter. But there is definetly a lot of buzz here about a possible trade with the Cubs. Also, I will be going to all four games when the Cubs visit Turner field, So if there are any Cubbie fans on here in Atlanta if you would want to meet up at the game and, have a cold one and just chit chat before the game just let me know!

  • Steve

    Would you rather lose with nice guys or win with a-holes?

    I think we’d all prefer to win with nice guys, but this is the real world…

  • Serious Cubs Fan

    What kind of prospect can we reasonably get in return for the Darwin Barey? High upside prospect with clear flaws in his game type prospects? If all were going to get in return in is Dave Sappelt type marginal prospect that won’t project as a starter, then thanks but no thanks. Darwin at the very least is a very good utility back-up cheaply under control, so we better get a decent return and not just a filler in return if we do deal him.

  • Edward

    You can’t have All-Stars at every position. If we can field a lineup with Barney as our worst hitter in a couple of years I would take it. He’s cheap, fields well, and hits ok. I can see why teams would want to trade for him, but I don’t think they would give up their top prospects in return.

  • Deez

    Barney is a “solid” player w/ high Baseball I.Q. & a great attitude. He’s a glue guy. A guy winning teams most have. I think he’s one of the guys who will bring us good value if packaged in one of the Dempster or Garza deal.
    He plays SS & 2B, definitely a guy a team like the Braves will covet.

  • Leroy K.

    It sucks. I really like Barney and want his jersey but every player I get a jersey of get’s traded right after. Wood (the first time he left for Cleveland), Lee, Niemi, etc. I want Barney’s jersey but don’t want to see him leave Chicago!

  • Jzwizard

    I like Barney. He worked his tail off this past off season and you can see that he has really improved his power. He already has more HR than last season (3). His SLG and OPS have gone up .030. If he goes into this next couple of offseasons like he did last year, he could very well be the answer at 2B for awhile

  • pj

    I have meet the guy a few times great guy to be around also great club house guy. Plays his position very well. He leads the team in doubles and is third in hits cant really ask more then that from a second basemen.