Quantcast

darwin barney smileWhile the addition of Emilio Bonifacio wrinkled the infield plans for the Chicago Cubs in 2014, it’s unclear whether his presence will actually have an impact on the expected starter at second base, Darwin Barney. We’ve discussed their relative merits as starters, and, in the end, the difference is sufficiently slight that I don’t really see it worth upsetting the balance of the clubhouse (Barney, as a leader, a hard-worker, and a three-year starter, is not a guy you unseat for a teeny, tiny upgrade unless you’re prepared to have some unhappy campers – right or wrong).

No, I should think that Barney will remain the starting second baseman going into the season, even if Bonifacio makes the team. That is, assuming Barney is still on the team come Opening Day.

To that point, George King has reported that the Yankees – who at one time had interest in Barney – are looking to improve their infield depth, and may use their catching surplus to do it. GM Brian Cashman said that, if the Yankees do add in the infield, they’ll look to do it on the cheap. As far as Barney goes, and the Cubs’ catching needs go, that’s a check, check, check.

Unsurprisingly, then, Bruce Levine reports that teams have continued to inquire about Barney this offseason, even as recently as last week when the other New York team – the Mets – checked in. That kind of checking in is probably going to continue throughout Spring Training. Given the Yankees’ situation just described, I’d be surprised if there weren’t more discussions there at some point.

This entire dialog, by the way, is a two-edged sword: all that stuff I said in the preamble about Barney being the starter if he’s on the team? If the front office believes Bonifacio is the better bet as a starter for 2014 (be it for competitive or trade value reasons), I could see them affirmatively trying to find a new home for Barney. That way, they would avoid the very ugliness that unseating Barney could create.

All that said, it remains entirely plausible that the best course of action is simply to let Barney remain the starter at second base, hope for improvement at the plate over last season, and see what’s what in July.

  • AP

    Brett,
    Just wanted to let you know, it looks like I’ll be in Mesa from the 4th to the 8th.

  • Javier Bryant

    I agree. They should keep Barney until around the trade deadline, maybe even packaging him with someone else and call up Baez shortly after if he’s ready. But if it’s still Murphy/Valbuena at 3rd, I would probably put Baez there and wait for Alcantara before dealing Barney.

    • Hee Seop Chode

      I’d imagine once Baez is called up it will be to play every day at his final position. That could be third, but I’d hope it’s second because Olt has earned a starting role at the hot corner.

      • Jon

        I like Baez at 2nd too. I like to see what we have with Olt, and then also if Bryant can stick at third to.

        I’m also thinking of a Shark/Alcantara package that gets us superstar like player.

        • Big City Mick

          I cringe every time someone suggests trading Alcantara, I’ve seen him play and he reminds me of a cross between Jose Reyes and Jimmy Rollins. He offers the best solution we have to a leadoff hitter, fits with the group of prospects set to arrive this/next season and plays superb defense at 2B. Castro can play SS, Baez at 3B, Bryant in LF, etc. At this point, we shouldn’t be trading any prospects, period.

          • Edwin

            If they can flip some prospects for decent MLB pitching, I’m all for trading prospects. It’s like a currency exchange. We exchange our prospect currency for MLB currency.

          • Joshua Edwards

            Agreed, Big City. I think Alcantara can be a hybrid, but better, Bonifacio/Zobrist-type player. His flexibility allows for other guys to slot in at their best positions, and has to increase his value as a useful long-term asset under any scenario. Can’t move that lightly.

        • Voice of Reason

          Jon,

          We haven’t had a minor league system like this for years and.now we can’t wait to trade them all away.

          They are not trading alcantera or any of the top prospects anytime soon. Just relax and let them all develop.

        • mbeemsterboer

          Did you guys not hear the Baez has one of the top arms in the minors? Why on earth would we ever move him to second? He doesn’t profile as a 2B, he profiles as a 3B or corner OF. I think (hope) our future infield is a combination of Alcantara, Baez, Bryant, Castro and Rizzo, with one being displaced. And I don’t think it’s entirely out of the realm of possibility that Castro is the odd man out, actually.

          • Drew7

            Having Baez’s bat at 2B >>> Baez playing the OF because he has a good arm.

          • http://bleachernation.com woody

            Just because Baez has a plus arm is no reason to say he couldn’t be a good second baseman. Bryant and Olt and Villanueva all have good arms and all of them could certainly play the outfield if it were neccesary. To put a high impact bat into a position that in many cases is the weakest spot in the order is a very big plus. Think Robbie Cano in the case of Baez at second. Tell me what team wouldn’t want a Cano in their lineup? I think that Alcantara is the X factor along with Olt as to where Baez ends up. Judging from what I saw from Castro today I don’t think he is going anywhere anytime soon. My take is that if Olt struggles then Baez will play third when he arrives. Maybe Alcantara becomes like a Bonafacio type that plays multiple positions when he first comes up. But if Baez continues to progress it’s obvious that where the rest of the guys end up is secondary.

      • Javier Bryant

        I’m hoping Olt is at 3rd as well. Olt, Castro, Baez, Rizzo is a pretty nice infield

        • JB88

          That would be a bit of tremendous, almost Cardinal-like, luck if things work out that way. Olt emerging is a helluva lottery ticket and would give the Cubs a lot of really nice positional flexibility.

  • Jon

    If Barney is OPSing another robust 580 into May, it won’t be that difficult at all to unseat him.

  • nate1m

    What’s he worth to the Yankees? Murphy? What do they have at the lower levels?

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    Not really buying that a team would be willing to give up enough for the FO to trade for him. Barney is basically a defensive sub for any team trading for him and would we be willing to give up anything of value for a defensive bench player? The FO might just hold I to him and hope he rebounds enough for teams to increase their offers as they tried with Marmol. I just don’t see this FO giving him away just because they have Bonifacio, and I just don’t see a team giving up a prospect if value just to get Barney. I always try to look at these moves from another teams perspective and I wouldn’t give much more than a B- prospect for him. I would rather see if he can be a sweetener to another trade.

    • MattyNomad

      So just in theory, lets say we could get that B- prospect [for the purpose of this statement, maybe a catcher] from the Yankees. In turn, we can offer Bonaficio the starting job and flip him for something reasonable at the trade deadline, thus opening a spot for Baez and/or Alcantara in 2015. Do we trade Barney then?

      • Norm

        For a B-?
        Of course.
        I’d be happy with a C-.

        • Noah_I

          At this juncture, I agree with you. I could see Barney, though being someone who has a bit more trade value at the deadline if he puts up an OPS more in the .650 range than the .570 range. Not someone who will get you a B- prospect, but someone who could potentially get you a C or C+ for a team that has their 2B vastly under perform or get injured mid-season and highly values his defensive output. but that would be best case scenario for Barney.

    • Voice of Reason

      Michigangoat,

      You hit the nail on the head with barney. He has no value to other teams. Might as well keep him and hope he rebounds. We know he can defend, if he can hit a little we may have something. If not, releasing him down the road would be no different than what we would get in return if we traded him right now.

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Precisely we have think about these trades from other teams perspective, what would we give up for Barney? Not much.

  • Kyle

    Our infield depth must be threatening to make us slightly less terrible. Time to gut it.

    Honestly though? Whatevs. Barney is better than Bonifacio, but not by enough for me to really care if we get a Campana-esque return for Barney

    • CubChymyst

      The Campana return could look even better this year or next year. Getting two young pitchers with upside was a good deal, and Leal stats look good last year in the rookie league.

      • Kyle

        Leal’s scouting reports looked pretty good, too. If he stays healthy, he’ll be a top-10 organizational guy within a year or two.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I could be misremembering, but I thought I’d read that he looked like a guy who was simply advanced for his age, and thus decimated young hitters; but there were questions about whether he actually had good stuff.

          • Kyle

            That’s true, but it’s relative.

            His stats say “ZOMG, this guy could be a top prospect right now.” The scouting reports say “there’s something there, but part of the stats are just his advancedness.”

          • Joshua Edwards

            I thought I remember hearing something to that effect about Leal here at BN. (Maybe it was in the comments?)

            I guess here’s hoping Leal is a late-bloomer, as that would be something more useful for the Cubs than Tony “Done-blooming” Campana.

            But it’s not a high-upside roll, as I think we all agree. And I do think it’s similar to the return the Cubs can expect for Barney, though at a position of greater need (C/SP).

            Brett pointed out the other reasons it would help the Cubs, so to get even a low-percentage prospect to fill depth in the organization leave me thinking there are good reasons Barney could be moved.

            The fact that we’ve only watched about 5 innings of spring training baseball leave me in “wait-and-see” mode.

    • MattyNomad

      Everything considered, I was pretty happy with the Campana return. With the FO taking best available talent in the early rounds of the draft and international markets, I like the strategy of picking up young arms for these kind of Barney/Campana-esque players.

    • JadeBos

      Barney is gone next year unless he has some kinda break through with the bat. I doubt he wants to be a back up to full time prospects and I like Valbuena in that role better anyway and hes a half mil cheaper.
      Any non 40 man prospect would do.

      AND if Olt does take 3B at any point this year. I’d want Valbuena at 2B vs every righty

  • Austin8466

    Gold Glove second basemen don’t just grow on trees. In a decent lineup you bat Barney 8th and eat his below average bat because his defense is elite. This seems like a no-brainer to me. Keep the guy and sign him to a cheap, very team-friendly extension in the near future. He’s only 28 for Pete’s sake!

    • CubChymyst

      There could very well be an infield roster crunch midway this season. Olt, Baez, and Alcantara all have higher ceilings then Barney. I don’t think Barney has a very good chance making it through the season as a Cub versus next year and beyond.

      • Kyle

        There could be one midseason, but there’s not one yet.

        But yeah, I’d place the odds of Barney being a Cub on August 1 at about 30%. It’d be less if we hadn’t shown last year that we’d rather keep guys than take what we can get at the deadline.

        • CubFan Paul

          “if we hadn’t shown last year that we’d rather keep guys than take what we can get at the deadline”

          Yeah, I didn’t understand that (Schierholtz, DeJesus..)

    • DocPeterWimsey

      Unless that decent lineup can add more to its run-differential by replacing that elite glove with a lesser fielder and better hitter!

      The Yankees are still a decent lineup and they serve to show what Barney can and cannot do. Assuming that Kelly Johnson’s reduced range of the last couple of seasons is permanent, Barney reflects a definite upgrade in fielding. However, Johnson has considerably more power and the same OBP. So, it probably would come out in the wash.

      Moreover, Barney’s excellent range and hands does nothing about the grounders that Jeter or Teixiera dont’ reach or a lot of the flares that Beltran doesn’t reach in the OF.

      • bnile1

        Except that they would likely be looking to play Barney at SS. In reserve capacity this year then likely as the starter next year. Barney would likely be GG caliber SS as well.

        • Kyle

          I don’t think so. His arm and range wouldn’t play up to SS that well. He’d be an adequate defensive SS, maybe even above-average, but certainly not GG.

          • Fishin Phil

            I’m getting very concerned, I find myself agreeing with Kyle more and more each day.

          • bnile1

            Well above average. the issue a lot of people have is comparing him to Theriot. Offensively that’s OK, but defensively it’s ridiculous. I think I remember a couple of years ago he had a ridicuous WAR at ss becasue of his defensive metrics for a small sample of games he played there. He has a very good arm for short, and outstanding range at short. That’s why his metrics at second look good because he’s a great defensive SS playing second. We’ll see after he’s traded, but my bet is you’ll see him playing short at his new team. The only reason he’s not playing short with the cubs is because of castro.

            • bbmoney

              I’d always heard his arm would be fringy for a SS.

              • Critterbeard

                I was just thinking of the potential double play combo of Brendan Ryan & Darwin Barney in New York. That would be something to see on Jeter’s off days. They wouldn’t score any runs, but the other team might not either.

    • Joshua Edwards

      Eh…they may not grow on trees but there’s plenty of guys that are good enough for it not to matter (most good SS/3B could play a passable 2b).

      Second base is often where teams risk defensive liability for an elite bat. The positive run differential for a good bat at 2b is better than for an elite glove. So despite the old saying about “being strong up the middle,” most teams will sacrifice defense for offense at 2b.

      I think the unfortunate problem for Barney’s value is that he won a GG at his secondary position (2b) while carrying a SS bat into a hitter’s spot. And in terms of the Cubs being able to improve upon what he brings to the table, well, they seem close to doing it.

  • Norm

    No way Brett, if they think Bonifacio is the better player they’ll start Barney because, you know, they’re trying to lose.

  • Edwin

    I don’t think Barney is worth much in a trade, so I’d rather they just keep him and Bonifacio, at least for some depth until they’re ready to start calling up some prospects.

  • candyland07

    Darwin Barney is player that the Cubs should trade or be replaced by a rookie . Darwin is a bad player . Darwin may be a fine gentleman and a hard worker but his production if far below the norm and his only good quality is his glove and that unfortunately should not be enough to keep his job. The Cubs are a bad team and stink – this player is one reason of many why the Cubs are bad at baseball.

    • Edwin

      A Candy Land / Game of Thrones parody would be quite funny.

    • frank

      I think Barney is the kind of player that has much more relative value if you have a better lineup than what the Cubs have now. You can hide his bat and keep him for his defense. I liken him a bit to Bud Harrelson, who had a long career but only once did he have an OPS over .700 (lifetime OPS = .616). He was valuable for his defense–of course, he played SS. Unfortunately, the Cubs don’t have that kind of lineup.

  • Jason P

    I’m guessing the Yankees want Barney but don’t necessarily want to give up anything for him. They’re probably just checking in to see if the Cubs want to dump him for a PTBNL.

  • jammin502

    The question comes down to the return for Barney being better than keeping Barney in the very least as a utility infielder. It is very crowded at second base right now with Barney, Bonafacio, Murphy, Valbuena, Roberts, Alcantara, Watkins, etc. The Cubs could be dealing from strength at this point.

  • Blackhawks1963

    Trading Barney before the start of the season will be, in all likelihood, dependent on the spring Mike Olt has. Can Olt make the club? If so, then perhaps the Cubs can package Barney and a relief pitcher (because there DOES seem to be a bit of a logjam there). Yankees?

  • Chiburgh

    Rumors are also flying on the Southside that Beckham could be traded to the Yankees for a catcher and another player. Does Barney have greater value? Neither hits well, but both flash the leather compensating for the lack of range from other positions.

    Who has more to offer, Beckham or Barney?

    • Blackhawks1963

      Gordon Beckham to the Yankees makes lots of sense. The Sox have a lot of 2nd base depth, especially if Matt Davidson can take over at 3rd base. Keppinger, Leury Garcia and two nice prospects all have 2nd base credentials. Meanwhile the Sox could really use a veteran catcher. Francisco Cervelli would help that club.

      • Chiburgh

        Beckham does make the most sense for the Yankees.

        I would still like to see a Barney to Toronto deal get done.

  • itzscott

    I think we’re all onboard with an upgrade at 2nd base.

    But I would be so quick to trade a Gold Glove 2nd baseman for the proverbial AAA filler.

    • Jon

      I think we need to be careful throwing the term “gold glove” around with Barney. Yeah it’s great that he’s a wizard with the glove. Even better when his bat is at least decent. But when he’s a back whole offensively, it doesn’t matter how good his glove his, he’s just not a useful player, not starter at least.

      • waittilthisyear

        i don’t think your “hole” post makes much sense when read together

        • itzscott

          Is that a stab at some “black” humor?

          • waittilthisyear

            ha nice

    • brainiac

      a guy like barney is great on a team stocked with hitting. but a guy like him becomes a problem when he can’t contribute to the lineup. he’s a superior fielder, but we need a more well rounded player.

      trade him. and castro. and shark. and fire jed.

  • Blackhawks1963

    A. Barney can’t be compared to Bonafacio. Two completely different players. ONe is a solid infield glove, while the other is a defensive liability but who can run fast and has “versatility” to move around the baseball field.

    B. Whoever mentioned Murphy and Watkins as depth is being silly. Neither is adequate major league material other then being cup of coffee guys. Watkins won’t even be in the starting lineup at Triple A Iowa this year for crying out loud.

    • davidalanu

      “A. Barney can’t be compared to Bonafacio. Two completely different players. ONe is a solid infield glove, while the other is a defensive liability but who can run fast and has “versatility” to move around the baseball field. ”

      Pssst…you just compared ‘em.

  • jkoehneke

    Get rid of Barney ASAP. There is no point to hold onto him He’s not going to increase his value that much even if he hits the 250 range.

    Bonafacio has better upside as a flip candidate at the end of the year.

    Enough with the roadblocks. Lets test some of these young guys out

    • Myles P

      Getting rid of a guy to just get rid of him isn’t what Theo and company do. If they feel they’re getting a a good value based on the market, they pull the trigger.

      As far as roadblocks for talent, there really hasn’t been any. I assume you’re talking about bringing players up from the minors. The quicker we do this, the less control we have over them from a contract standpoint. There is no rush.

      • candyland07

        “””Getting rid of a guy to just get rid of him isn’t what Theo and company do.””‘
        Yes they do . The Cubs have rid many a players in the last two years and seldom get value return or pay absurd amounts of salary to get minimal talent in return.

        • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

          They do that after they realize the player has no value (see Marmol) they aren’t going to sell low on Barney instead they will hope he increases his value and if he can’t then they will let him go or trade him for a meh prospect. But they aren’t just letting him go at this point.

          • candyland07

            At one time Marmol had value ….. The Cubs waited to long to capitalize on that time frame but hindsight is 20/20. I doubt Barny has a high ceiling when it comes to compensation in regards to trade value. Barneys salary alone (as low as it is ) should be taken into consideration . Paying a rookie to perform has be smarter then paying a veteran that produces like a weak rookie . Any compensation from Barney is not worth the wait and the increase value IF he performs is not worth the wait due to his dismal performance.

            • BT

              When did Marmol have value? After the 2010 season, sure. The Cubs proceeded to sign him to a 3 year deal. The second half of 2011 (when he was only paid 3.2 million) he started to fall apart, not that they would deal him 3 months into a 3 year contract anyway. He was bad in 2012 when his salary jumped to 7 million, and his whip jumped to over 1.5 baserunners an inning, and 2013 was worse both in performance and salary. So explain to me when the Cubs were supposed to deal from strength on Marmol.

              To Kyle’s point, they weren’t waiting UNTIL a guy had no value, they were waiting a guy who ALREADY had no value to try and establish some. Marmol failed.

              The idea that the Cubs waited too long on Marmol is not 20/20 hindsight. It’s made up.

              • candyland07

                Now your looking just for an argument to argue.The reply was to goat and not to Kyle- goat used Marmol as an example hence the reply about Marmol to goat. The Cubs got rid of Marmol its just was not soon enough even if the Cubs got nothing in return. Marmol cost the Cubs games and with his salary he was counterproductive. I think that is the truth. Marmol Cost the Cubs games – he was not only one and he was overpaid but unlike Barny his lack of production can easily be hidden with the team the Cubs have.

                Its time to go to other options at 2b..

                • BT

                  I’m not arguing just to argue. You made a statement that’s pretty easy to refute. Marmol turned pretty bad fairly soon after signing a new deal. His declining production combined with increasing salary meant that there was no reasonable time the Cubs could have got anything of value for him.

                  It doesn’t matter who you were replying to. The only reason I mentioned Kyle was because it’s possible he was making the same argument, although his statement was broad enough that it’s possible he wasn’t specifically referring to Marmol.

              • Kyle

                I wasn’t so much concerned with when they traded Marmol as reminding that the concept of “sell low” is intrinsically tricky, because it’s very hard to know where the precise low is. It’s not as easy as telling yourself “well, this used to be valued higher, so if I sell now, I’d be selling low.”

          • Kyle

            When you wait until a guy has no value after you hoped he might, that is the definition of selling low.

            • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

              I understand that and yes Barney might never have more value than he has today but justing giving him away today doesn’t make sense. Hold until a team really need him and hope that he starts off the season strong.

              • candyland07

                Giving him away – might be the best thing for the Cubs. The Royals let go of Bonafacio and he has comparable value . Its time to move to something different at 2b and i think i would be surprised if Barney is the Cubs starter as the season open. Its time to change and if the front office cant see that well……… sigh.

      • Jon

        They did kind of do that with Soriano. Cory Black is a nice prospect but was he worth 15 million($$ paid to the yanks)? He was moved because they wanted to move on and see what Lake could do in LF.

        I don’t disagree with the move, but that is essentially getting rid of a guy to get rid of him.

        • bbmoney

          And get a prospect and not pay all of his salary. I don’t think that was getting rid of a guy to get rid of him at all.

        • Kyle

          That’s sunk cost fallacy. You don’t measure how much we gave to the Yankees, because we were committed to paying that money no matter what. You measure how much we saved by what we didn’t pay the Yankees.

      • jkoehneke

        Screw the service clock on some of these guys. We have a lot of infield talent and will have to test them on the big league level to see who stays. Cubs will lock up these guys early to team friendly contracts if they suspect they are long term solutions. Cubs have the money to spend and i’m not concerned about them having funds to lock up these prospects long term

        • Kyle

          There’s only one guy who is being held down for service time, and even he is very raw. They all have plenty to learn in the minors, and shoving them into the majors prematurely could damage their development. How quickly Cubs fans forget the lessons learned with Corey Patterson.

          • JB88

            The interesting thing is that a couple of those guys (I’m thinking Baez and Alcantara, due to them being in AAA) could be ready by the end of this year. If they make appearances this year and struggle, the really interesting question is whether they will be artificially held back in AAA to start next year for service time questions.

            To me, that will be a really telling sign about whether the club is foolishly pinching pennies. Under those circumstances, you are only holding them down due to Super 2 status and wouldn’t secure another year of service time.

            • Eternal Pessimist

              …and Anthony Rizzo.

  • Steve

    I’ll reiterate what I’ve said in the past, on a good team, Barney is the perfect 2nd baseman.
    Due to the glut of infield talent, does he have a future here? No, but mark my words, he will be on a winning team sooner than later.

    • jkoehneke

      On a good team he is not a perfect prospect lol! Someone hitting around the mendoza line is nothing close to perfect. His defense is great but to say he is a perfect is beyong a stretch

    • candyland07

      If the Cubs had a good…… after that its all fantasy. Any good team can have one weak link and still be successful. You are correct ,but Barny is a weak link maybe the weakest on the Cubs. Forget salary ..production is production and any Rookie in the Cubs System can easily out produce Barny offensive numbers and his glove has no value on a terrible team that the Cubs have in the present.

  • mak19

    Between all of the 3rd base options leaving Valbuena to platoon at 2nd, Watkins (who I think would put up better numbers than Barney without a huge dropoff in D) and now Bonafacio, I’d trade Barney for a C+ prospect today. I’m actually shocked that they didn’t try to deal him in December.

    • candyland07

      This is what the Cubs front Office should be judge on . Its time to move on and replace Barney. His production is nil. his Glove means nothing on a poor team. Its almost any move the Cubs make at 2b would be considered an improvement. The question why are we not improving at a position that is a weak link. The Cubs can easily replace Barney . Money is not an issue at this point . we pay millions so Barny can walk back to the dugout at a extremely high rate for his salary.

      • JB88

        There is value in having professional ball players on a ballclub. Barney certainly falls into that category. Unless and until someone is available to unseat him from second, he is the type of person you want around in the clubhouse, even if he isn’t necessarily the sort of bat you want in the lineup.

        • candyland07

          Almost any player can be put in that category. The Cubs do not use that type of rationalization when keeping players as evident in the high turnover rate of its 25 man roster. Yes they do keep key players – its just Barny should not be considered at that type of value – its counter productive. Barny may have sentimental value to certain players and fans but his numbers do not warrant loyalty to under perform at his position.

          • JB88

            You are going to need to cite some examples to justify your statement that “the Cubs do not use that type of rationalization when keeping players as evident in the high turnover rate of its 25 man roster.” The vast majority of moves the Cubs have made over the past two years were made for one of two reasons: (a) the players on the 25 man roster just weren’t that talented; or (b) the talented players on their roster they were trading were either on one year deals or weren’t part of the longterm future of the team.

            But I don’t think that Theo or Jed’s MOs when they were in Boston or San Diego were to jettison players willy-nilly. You’ll have to provide some evidence to the contrary before I buy into that statement.

            • candyland07

              No I do not the list is long and any person can just look through the Cubs history of transaction in the last two years to confirm . If i told you the Cubs are a bad team and you tell me to prove it by dissecting games that the Cubs played in the past two years the overall record should be enough. to qualify .

              The Cubs in the past two years have maintain a roster that develops 60 game win seasons.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Money might not be the issue. Supply is the issue. Multiple teams are looking for good hitting middle infielders right now. Cano just made a mint as an FA because he’s been the only really good hitting MI to hit the FA market in a while.

        Now, Drew is still on the market: but clearly he is looking for a bigger pile of money than anybody is willing to put under the big box propped up by a stick attached to a long rope.

        And as for whether the FO *tried* to trade Barney, we can only say that they didn’t trade him. The reality is that teams with better overall players than Barney are (thought to be) looking to upgrade at 2nd.

    • Kyle

      The fact that they don’t should continue to tell you that you are undervaluing Barney and overrating Watkins.

      • candyland07

        The fact that they Don’t tells me that its poor baseball and it continues to be poor baseball.

  • jschwei17

    Pineyro for Hairston was a real good trade and Hairston wasn’t even a starter…? Never know!

  • Diehardthefirst

    Last week I proposed to Theo- Barney for Uggla if no payroll increase and it just may happen– good deal all around for reasons stated previously

  • gcheezpuff

    Not sure what the FO plan is, but if Castro rebounds this year and they believe Baez can stick at SS and displace Castro.. Maybe Castro goes on the block. If this were the case, I maybe hold onto Barney and play him at SS until Baez is ready. This would allow the FO to trade Castro and then eventually market Barney as a SS (where his bat doesn’t look as bad) and trade him when Baez and AA are both ready. That being said, this would require a ton of “ifs”. If Olt wins 3rd, if Castro rebounds, if Baez sticks as SS, if Barney’s bar rebounds…..etc

  • Fastball

    In a perfect world DB will start hitting right out of the gate. If he hit .270 I would be really happy. I for one don’t see DB getting traded, especially in a one for one trade. So DB has plenty of value to this team. If I was RR I would want him on my team going forward. He would be my best utility infielder. DB is smart enough to know whats coming by mid season. So let’s assume he is a team player for which he truly is. He accepts his role because if he were to be traded it would mostly be the same role anywhere else. If you want to keep Bonafacio and Valbuena around as extra infielders as well maybe that’s okay. I really doubt both of them would stick. You have a Watkins who can also do what those do for less money. This team needs veteran leadership, guys who lead by example and I believe Barney is one of those guys. He’s worth more than a BA, OPS and all that. And he is the best defensive 2b in the NL and he can probably play SS better than anyone in our system defensively. Is there value in that? Yes.. I also think you might start a revolt in the lockeroom if you trade Barney for a low level prospect. I think you can send Murphy packing. He was just lucky as hell and not much else. Also if Bonafacio was really worth anything he wouldn’t have gotten whacked by the Royals. We need to think in terms of quality. We need to stop with the waiver wire guys thinking they are going to be great. They aren’t great and MLB organizations don’t have a bunch of dumb asses working for them in the talent evaluation department. So if the Royals or any other team whack a guy they are doing it for good reason. There are some lucky finds every once in a blue moon. Most of our guys don’t make the roster on most other teams. They all have better W/L records because they are better and have better players. So does adding more of what we already have do anything for us in the end? Probably not. Either way I don’t trade Barney. I keep the guy on this team for a while and I am glad to have him on my bench for the long haul.

  • Diehardthefirst

    Uggla could start a game and Emilio finish and vice versa

    • Voice of Reason

      Uggla is horrible.

      Better off letting Barney play everyday. He actually has.more upside than uggla!! Lmao

      • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

        Not in the Die Hardian Universe there he is still with the Florida Marlins.

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3764/12685586235_439ed6a96a_o.jpg[/img]

    • ssckelley

      The Cubs are not signing Uggla. Give it up!

      • Patrick W.

        Countdown to the Cubs signing Dan Uggla in 5…. 4…. 3….

  • candyland07

    Trade Barney to the Yankees or any team that will have him. Heck let the Cubs pay 80 percent of his salary and get a raw young injured player in return with a middle upward ceiling if the player can ever recover. its been done before with great enthusiasm. But I understand, until the front office actually makes that move it will be judge as a crazy impossible thought process to make that type of trade. Watkins and Bonafacio could not possible do any worse from a production standpoint and besides neither W&B are the Cubs long term plans so why not show case the three and flip when appropriate . Just saying ……

  • MattM

    I didn’t read through everyone’s comments so forgive me if I’m saying the same thing anyone else has….

    Brett what are your thoughts on the Olt situation. I would think that if he does pan out Valbuena would be a big upgrade at second offensively over Barney..

    Do you think anything depends on Olt?

  • Pingback: Starlin Castro to Miss 7-10 Days, Darwin Barney Among Those to See Extra Time at Shortstop | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

Bleacher Nation Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Bleacher Nation is a private media site, and it is not affiliated in any way with Major League Baseball or the Chicago Cubs. Neither MLB nor the Chicago Cubs have endorsed, supported, directed, or participated in the creation of the content at this site, or in the creation of the site itself. It's just a media site that happens to cover the Chicago Cubs.

Bleacher Nation is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Google+