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.



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