Cubs, Darwin Barney Avoid Arbitration

The Cubs and second baseman Darwin Barney have avoided an arbitration hearing by settling on a one-year deal worth $2.3MM, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports (Twitter link).

Barney, a client of CAA Sports' Joe Urbon, filed for a $2.8MM salary last month, with the Cubs countering at $1.8MM. The $2.3MM settled upon by the two sides is the midpoint between those two figures and is just slightly north of the $2.1MM salary projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz.

Barney further established himself as an elite defensive second baseman in his age-27 season last year, posting a +15.5 UZR/150 and a +11 mark per The Fielding Bible's Defensive Runs Saved metric. However, his stellar glove is the more or less the sole source of his value to the team. Barney has batted .232/.283/.330 over the past two seasons with the Cubs, including a .208/.266/.303 line in 2013. He did walk at a career-high clip (6.5 percent) in addition to tying his career-best in homers (seven) and providing some value on the basepaths last season.

With Barney's case resolved, the Cubs' lone candidate for a hearing is ace Jeff Samardzija, as shown in MLBTR's Arbitration Tracker. Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago wrote last week that it wouldn't be a surprise to see the two sides head to a hearing.

13 Responses to Cubs, Darwin Barney Avoid Arbitration Leave a Reply

  1. 1 year ago

    2.3 million to be less than mediocre smh….not good..GO CUBS!!!!

  2. Pads Fans 1 year ago

    With all the great middle infield prospects in the Cubs system, you have to wonder how long the Cubs will hang on to Barney, regardless of how stellar his defense is.

  3. UK Tiger
    UK Tiger 1 year ago

    Oh Darwin.

    If only you could hit…

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      21st century version of Eddie brinkman. Brinkman hung around 15 years as a no hit, GG calibur guy at SS making 15-50k a year tho in his day. Barny might not make 5y and will get more money than “steady eddie” ever dreamed of.

  4. Yaow 1 year ago

    I always wanted to see Watkins get a shot last year.

    Hopefully Renteria doesn’t give Barney way more at bats than he deserves. His constant lifting of the ball last year drove me nuts.

    • AsHeR 1 year ago

      Completely agree. He is by no means a speedster, but he isn’t slow. Would have been happier with groundouts. Seemed like he was trying to be Willie Mays Hayes in Major League 2…

  5. McGlovin 1 year ago

    Awesome double play duo in the north side. Laughable batting avgs, walk rates and obp. Smh at the Cubs.

  6. McGlovin 1 year ago

    Awesome double play duo in the north side. Laughable batting avgs, walk rates and obp. Smh at the Cubs.

  7. schaddy24 1 year ago

    Agreed. With Baez and Alcantara looming in AAA his days could be numbered. I would like to see them keep him around as a defensive replacement (Castro and Baez are terrible defenders) but that’s all dependent on his arb. salary.

  8. tim815 1 year ago

    If he doesn’t hit, I expect him to be dealt, if he retains any trade value.

  9. AsHeR 1 year ago

    I’m optimistic. He’s the only one who has been in AZ working with Mueller the past couple weeks. Shows hes trying hard. Why didn’t Castro and Rizzo join him to get a jump start on the season? Regardless, if he can at least hit .270, he would be a legit 2B and a valuable trade chip. VERY interested in Alcantara but, as of right now, my ideal IF would be Bryant at 3B, Baez at SS, Castro at 2B, Rizzo at 1B.

  10. Tim Borem 1 year ago

    Totally agree with the infield. I think that is how it will shake up too. 2.5 million is not crazy to spend on a bench player/defensive replacement

  11. AsHeR 1 year ago

    Exactly. And injuries DO happen.

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