Darwin Barney: Gold Glover

You’d think after a season in which Darwin Barney was near the top of almost every defensive metric in baseball – not just at second base, but at any position – and in which he tied the MLB record for consecutive errorless games at second base, he’d be a lock to win the Gold Glove.

But we all know that the Gold Glove isn’t always award to the best defender. It’s frequently given to the biggest name who also plays good defense, or the reigning winner who didn’t suck, or the best bat who can kind-of-sort-of catch a ball. For that reason, it was fair to suspect that, although Barney had already won The Fielding Bible Award at second base, he might lose out on the Gold Glove to Brandon Phillips, who is the better offensive player, the bigger name, and the reigning winner.

But they got it right! Darwin Barney actually won the Gold Glove at second base this year in the National League, and, if he continues to work at it, and remains a starter, it could be the first of many.

Congrats, Darwin. A bright spot in an otherwise grim year.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

69 responses to “Darwin Barney: Gold Glover”

  1. Robert

    Barney baby!!!!!! That was ultra fast Brett .

  2. arta

    Yesssssss.

  3. Karen P

    I just did the happy dance at work, and all my still-bitter Tigers-loving coworkers glowered menacingly. I told them to piss off and kept dancing. So so happy for Darwin.

  4. MikeW

    Kruk called it an “upset”. Um, ok.

  5. CubsFan4Life

    Wow, how did you post this so fast? They just announced that Barney won the GG award, and you already had this posted. Brett, you are amazing !!!

  6. CubFan Paul

    Combine his new nationally known defensive prowess and another pre arbitration year at $500k and we get prime trade bait for young pitching or young whatever.

    1. TC

      yes please

  7. fromthemitten

    trade value rising… love it

  8. #1lahairfan

    trade him to the blue jays, and fast.

    1. Carew

      or we could keep him…he is a quality 2b after all..

      1. CubFan Paul

        Define quality

        1. hansman1982

          He is a quality 2b. Just not a quality offensive player.

    2. Richard Nose

      Package him with someone else to get a pitching package from those bastards!

  9. chirogerg

    yay!

  10. Alec

    Amazing caliber defensive player, young, offensively growing… Yeah that’s who i wanna trade when I’m rebuilding

    1. CubFan Paul

      offensively growing?? Sure about that?

      1. Drew7

        Yeah…Congrats to Barney, but he’s not all that young, and I’d say it’s very likely he’s done improving offensively. He’s not a guy you just “give away”, but I’d say his value is as high as it’s gonna get.

        That said, I just don’t see him fetching anything of value. If the tables were turned, would you be excited if we were giving up a guy like, say, Vogelbach or Watkins, to get a guy like Barney? I remain skeptical that a guy like Cardenas or Watkins (in a year or two) couldn’t provide the same overall value.

        1. CubFan Paul

          Competing GMs and executives disagree with you. According to them, Barney has a ton of value. His defensive awards now only cement it.

          1. Drew7

            I’m confused – is this sarcasm?

          2. Luke

            Value, yes. No doubt about that.

            Trade value? I’m not so sure of that one. To date, I don’t think we’ve had many reports of other GMs offering anything significant for Barney. The Tigers were said to have interest in him as part of a package, but I don’t recall them offering anything noteworthy for just Barney.

            I have no problems trading him. Cardenas can start the season at second. If he can’t handle it and Watkins is hitting in Iowa, then make the switch. I suspect Watkins is going to take a lot of Barney’s at bats after this season anyway.

            1. Lou

              If the Cubs could get Smyly for him, then that would be a solid trade.

              1. calicubsfan007

                @Lou: I can’t imagine Detroit wanting to trade Smyly away for Barney. But if it works out, that would be a helluva trade and it would be then argued that the value of Barney has skyrocketed.

                1. DocPeterWimsey

                  That’s not going to happen for at least three reasons. One, the Tigers do not particularly prize fielding. Two, they have Infante for another year, and he’s a plus fielder at 2nd and basically Barney with more power at the plate. (That’s assuming that Infante’s hand injury does not affect his play next year, of course.) Third and finally, Detroit cannot afford to keep all of its starters (that’s why Sanchez is almost certain to sign somewhere else next year), so they are planning on Smyly being their #5 guy in 2013. The Tigers look to starting pitching rather than fielding for run-prevention, so having solid guys 2-5 (plus a god at #1) will probably remain their tactic of choice.

                2. Beer Baron

                  This past Saturday, Bruce Levine specifically mentioned Barney for Smyly. He wasn’t reporting it, just posing it as a question in a “would you make that trade” context. But normally he isn’t one to totally rumor monger – like Phil Rogers, for example, who just throws random shit out there to fill up his column. So I’m guessing Bruce heard something, probably not anything terribly substanative but likely more than just idle speculation. Personally, I think it would take more than just Barney to make a deal like this (closer?) but I wouldn’t rule it out entirely. Plus I think Infante’s broken hand could hamper him for a while – and if they’re both on the team Barney can play some SS and Infante can play some 3rd

        2. fortyonenorth

          I’ll be interested to see how he does in 2013. In 2011, I never would have expected his 2012 defensive performance. What that shows me is that he is committed to improving and willing to invest the time necessary. He’ll never be a Cano, but I do think there’s room for realistic improvement. His numbers at Wrigley have always been good. If he could come close to matching that on the road…

  11. Dustin S

    Congrats to Darwin, I think what I like most about him is that he’s one of those guys that it really didn’t come easy for. It seems like he’s had to work a bit harder than most to get as good as he has become.

  12. ferrets_bueller

    I…cannot believe that Bourn didn’t win the CF GG. Holy hell.

  13. Jason

    Awesome! Can’t say he didn’t deserve it. He played 100% all year, and it showed, even on his error that ended the streak. Some guys may have not even tried for that in order to keep the streak alive, but he went for it. Congrats!

  14. Believe in 2015

    THE SHINING LIGHT ON A BAD SEASON!!!

    Congrats Barney, you deserved it

  15. Corey

    Hey brett, I wanna know your opinion on the idea of Theo snagging Youkilis after the whitesox declind his 13mil contract. Thoughts?

    1. calicubsfan007

      @Corey: I know that I am not Brett, but hear me out. It seems almost scripted, the reunion of player and gm. But, for some reason, it just doesn’t seem likely. I love Youk, don’t get me wrong. I just think that he will ask for a lot of money, which I don’t think that the Cubs will want to spend on him. It would be awesome if it happened though.

      1. Corey

        yeah, good points.

    2. fortyonenorth

      Also not Brett, but Youk’s not getting anywhere near $13m from anyone, so if that’s what he thinks he’s worth, he’ll need to readjust his expectations. His numbers from 2012 were sub-par, but he’s still got some good years left in him.

      All things considered (including the Theo/Youk relationship) I think he’s a good option (maybe the best option out there) and worth a 2-3 year deal. It should be affordable and will give our MILB 3b talent time to mature. Why not?

      1. Corey

        My thoughts exactly.

    3. Mr. Gonzo

      He is worth kicking the tires on, but he probably wants to be a part of a few meaningful seasons to play out the rest of his career. I could be wrong — and I usually am — but I don’t see Youkilis even considering the Cubs for two reasons: 1) we won’t be competitive during the length of the offered contract. 2) It’s no secret that we just need a stop gap until Thy Sacred Baez is unleashed.

      1. Corey

        Yeah, but what if that stop gap is yuk? haha. I appreciate your opinions though.

  16. Dr. Percival Cox

    This was not the stunner of the night. The stunner was Mike Trout was snubbed in favor of Adam Jones.

    1. Luke

      Yep. I thought Trout had that one in a landslide.

  17. calicubsfan007

    Hey Brett, I saw that you already posted this before it was announced. Would have been kind of awkward if he lost, right? Not the same level as the Bush/Gore election of 2000, but still would have been a tad embarrassing.

    1. Luke

      If I’m reading the time stamp right, Brett published this just a few seconds after the announcement. He had it written ahead of time and was probably waiting with his finger on the “Publish” button for the syllable Dar to be heard, but I don’t think he jumped the gun.

      If he did, then clearly we need him to post an article about the Cubs winning the 2013 World Series ASAP. Powers like that cannot be passed up.

      1. calicubsfan007

        @Luke: Whoops, I must have misread Brett’s comment then. That would be pretty sweet though if he had that power. Here’s to the 2013 World Champions, your Chicago Cubs! (= By the way, I am curious, what do you think about the whole Youk to the Cubs idea?

  18. North Side Irish

    keithlaw ‏@keithlaw
    NL Gold Glove 2b: Darwin Barney. Numbers benefited way too much from overshifts. I would have given it to Danny Espinosa.

    So unlike Law to be snarky…

    1. hansman1982

      Law is never overly negative just to get reactions. ESPN be praised.

      Douchenozzles.

    2. Norm

      How is that “snarky”?

      1. Ogyu

        snark·y   [snahr-kee] adj.,
        scornful of any Chicago Cub.

        Don’t you have a dictionary?

    3. Tommy

      Yes, because as we all know, overshifts compensate for fielding and throwing errors.

      What a moronic thing to tweet.

  19. Brady

    Congrats to Barney. Always seems to give 110% no matter if he is running the bases or making a play on a ball. On another sad note, I realized yesterday that I am a fan of the top 2 teams with the biggest championship drought in sports (Cubs and the Arizona Cardinals). This made me pretty sad, can one of the two start winning soon? Please and thank you.

  20. Leroy

    Yay!!! I will wear my Darwin Barney jersey proudly!

  21. abe

    Barney, Bret Jackson and Vitters for Josh Johnson. and throw in Sori with half his contract paid….all those guys have better replacements coming up in minors and u get one of the most dominate pitchers when healthy ( big ??? mark) but i think worth it. wishful thinking i guess.

    1. Richard Nose

      I’m all about trading these Cubs in a deal like this, especially if Josh Johnson didn’t have that question mark.

  22. mysterious4th

    Does Barney get a bonus for winning this award? I know I read a few other winners did so!

    1. ncsujuri

      probably a miniscule one at best, those guys were able to negotiate those into their contracts, and I don’t think he has had that type of negotiating power at this point.

  23. Zach

    Good fielder but he has no value on offense. No power, no speed and can’t get on base.

  24. Cubbies4Life

    Oh. My. God. You people are like, “Oh, no, Grandpa’s dead… when is the reading of the will?” A Cubs player gets a well-earned, distinguished award and you’re ready to trade him off to the highest bidder for some unknown quantity. It’s happy news for Darwin and the Cubs. I hope to see him out there next spring.

  25. ncsujuri

    Darwin is the type of player the Cardinals always seem to win World Championships with, I’m just saying…

    1. cubfanincardinalland

      Very similar type of player to Albert Pujols.

    2. DocPeterWimsey

      Darwin is the type of player the Cardinals always seem to win World Championships with

      Actually, Barney is the opposite of Cardinals players these days: Cards are adequate-to-below-average fielders with plus batting eyes and plus power, whereas Barney is plus plus fielder with a below average batting eye and below average power. (A team of Barney’s does not take 29 walks in 5 games to beat the Nats: Soren gets out of the 9th easily against the Cubs!)

      That written, good on Darwin. I’m really glad to see that they didn’t confuse the Golden Glove with the Silver Slugger, or even let batting taint impressions too much: the Nats 2bman (Espinosa) and Brandon Phillips are two guys who also had good years with the glove but much better years with the bats. Too often the voters seem to take the fielders’ bats to the field for them: but this should be strictly about fielding.

  26. bluekoolaidaholic

    Enjoy the moment Darwin. It isn’t your fault that you are playing on a crap, losing on the cheap team.

  27. CUB5

    Congrats Barney! Not bad having a Gold Glover who is only making $500,000. One of a few bright spots indeed.

  28. hardtop

    dar-bar! hooray for the hustle guy! I really like barney, certainly not the weakest link on this team by far.

  29. rbreeze

    Good for Barney! I’m a big fan of his because he plays with heart. Whatever he has he will give you 100%. His problem with many fans is that he is on a lousy team. He may only end up being a .260 hitter for his career and play great defense. But if he played on the Cardinals or Giants, everyone would be praising the guy as a hard nosed team player and saying we need more guys like Barney.

    Unless we can package him in a deal that benefits the long term plans of the Cubs, I am happy with Barney at 2nd in spite of the rest of the sorry lot we have right now.

  30. Cubbies4Life

    Thank you, yay-sayers!