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.