A few Bullets on yesterday’s news that former starting second baseman Darwin Barney had been designated for assignment …
- Whether it was now, in August, or after the season, Barney’s time with the Cubs was going to come to a close. The infield picture is crowded, to the say the least, and the Cubs are going to want to give time in August and September to – at a minimum – Arismendy Alcantara. Perhaps Javier Baez comes up late, adding another body there needing starts at second base. It was just time, and DFA’ing Barney now at least gives the Cubs a chance to move him to a contender in advance of the deadline.
- Anthony Rizzo summed up the Barney DFA with these comments to Cubs.com: “It’s a business, and with all due respect to our front office and everyone else in front offices around the league, at the end of the day, we’re pieces, we’re pawn pieces and we have no say. We all wish Darwin the best. Hopefully this will be good for his career, which I think it will be. He’s the best human I’ve ever played with – unselfish. Hopefully he goes to a better team, a winning team, and can contend.” That all pretty much nails it, for better and worse.
- On Barney, Hoyer offers his thoughts on what went wrong offensively in that same Cubs.com piece. It’s worth checking out. “Pull happy” makes an appearance. Whatever the cause of Barney’s offensive deterioration the last two years, we probably shouldn’t ignore that his minor league numbers always suggested he was going to struggle offensively in the big leagues. It’s possible that his 2011 season (the high water mark for him offensively, with a .276/.313/.353 line and .294 wOBA – yes, high water mark) was a BABIP-aided fluke, given that his .310 BABIP that year is more than 40 points higher than his career mark. In other words, perhaps he wasn’t messed up by mechanical issues the last two years … perhaps this is just him.
- But, uh, don’t listen to me, other teams. That is to say, the Cubs would like to be able to now trade Barney, preferably to a contender who can use his legitimately elite glove in the infield. Hoyer believes the Cubs will get calls on Barney (Tribune), and they hope to put him in a good spot. Don’t get your hopes too high for a significant return, obviously. Maybe a flawed prospect and some salary relief. At $2.3 million this year, Barney is owed about $800,000 the rest of the way.
- Outside sources at least initially believe there could be some interest in Barney:
if ever there is a good time to be DFA'ed, maybe this is it for darwin barney. oak, sfg, tor, cin, nyy all have 2B issue.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 22, 2014
- We’d commented on it here – I joked about a “personal second baseman” – and it turns out that it was actually true:
W/ Cubs Samardzija requested Barney start when he pitched: "That was no accident. Absolutely not. … He saved my butt plenty of times."
— Gordon Wittenmyer (@GDubCub) July 23, 2014
- I’d want him back there, too. Wittenmyer also talked to Samardzija about Barney’s future, and the pitcher said he hopes Barney winds up with the A’s.
- The Cubs have until August 1 to trade, waive, or release Barney, so we’re going to hear more about him in the run-up to the deadline, I’d expect.
- And, in case you’d forgotten …
Remember Barney's errorless streak? That was pretty awesome. Also, this: pic.twitter.com/e1XP5bHNIr
— Brett Taylor (@BleacherNation) July 22, 2014