Cubs Designate Darwin Barney For Assignment

The Cubs have designated second baseman Darwin Barney for assignment, tweets Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Barney, 28, had been the club’s regular at the keystone dating back to 2011.

Though regarded as a plus (and, at times, elite) defender, Barney has struggled to deliver value from the offensive side. After averaging a barely serviceable .265/.306/.354 slash over 2011-12, Barney has slipped to a combined .214/.266/.311 line since the start of 2013. He has also contributed on the basepaths, but certainly was not doing enough to merit a starting role; indeed, he has graded out as barely above replacement level over the past two seasons.

The move’s immediate purpose is to clear roster space for the activation of Emilio Bonifacio. In the grand scheme of things, however, it represents yet another step towards the infusion of the Cubs’ top prospects into the MLB roster. Since being promoted when Barney went on paternity leave, Arismendy Alcantara has taken the lion’s share of time at second (though he’s playing center field tonight), with fellow top youngster Javier Baez reportedly also moving to that spot at Triple-A in recent days.

76 Responses to Cubs Designate Darwin Barney For Assignment Leave a Reply

  1. YanksFan4EverNamed_Nick 1 year ago

    Yankees gonna hop on this

    • jjs91 1 year ago

      When you can get a guy with a .594 OPS you skip, not hop.

      • YanksFan4EverNamed_Nick 1 year ago

        When Brian Roberts is ur second basemen u jump actually

        • jjs91 1 year ago

          Except he hasn’t been better than roberts.

          • Frittoman626 1 year ago

            Except on defense. I would trade off Brian Roberts little offense for Barney’s near elite defense.

          • Douglas Rau 1 year ago

            Yankees already have Brendan Ryan. How many “all glove, no bat” players do you think they can fit on a roster? Especially when they’re not scoring enough runs as it is.

          • Ralph Esposito 1 year ago

            Gordon Beckham is a better all around player than Barney. Not even close.

          • jjs91 1 year ago


    • Ralph Esposito 1 year ago


  2. jb226 1 year ago

    Well, that will work.

    I like Darwin Barney, he seems like a good kid. He just couldn’t hit enough to justify a roster spot, even with his defense. Good luck to him.

  3. EndlessMikeJr 1 year ago

    The Cubs have enough infeilders.The question with that team will they trade any of it to get pitching…something they don’t have on the roster and in the minors.There a furture Orioles and Royals.Great hitting prospects no pitching.

    • Strugz 1 year ago

      You couldn’t be further from the truth when you say they have no pitching prospects. Their pitching prospects are not as recognized as their positional, but they are there, and exist in more numbers than a lot of other farm systems.

    • Lions017 1 year ago

      They have quite a few pitching prospects – but most profile as good relievers or 3-5 starters. Fortunately for the Cubs, they have the ability to fill out their rotation with those guys and then go out and trade for/sign two proven guys to fill the other spots.

    • BlueCatuli 1 year ago

      The Cubs last 3 drafts have been very pitcher heavy. High upside arms. They don’t have to trade any of their top positional talent to get pitching, they only have $50 MM committed next season when figuring max arb. cases. They have more pitching than most systems. Their pitching doesn’t get the love because they haven’t drafted a high profile guy like Bundy or Giolito.

      • oh Hal 1 year ago

        Every team drafts a slew of pitchers with “high upside.”

        • BlueCatuli 1 year ago

          I should probably clarify my point. Over half of their draft picks the last three years have gone to pitchers. They’ve taken best player available, then gone pitcher heavy. They have one of the best, if not the best, minor league pitching coordinators in baseball. They haven’t drafted a high profile arm, but they can develop a TOR pitcher. Might not show up right away, but it should happen. They’ve done a good job flooding the system with arms. They’ve also set themselves up to be able to spend on a TOR pitcher via FA. Main point: They have the ability to trade, but it isn’t a necessity.

          • oh Hal 1 year ago

            I get it. But every team drafts a whole lot of pitchers. I wouldn’t be surprised if half of the picks is the norm. Derek Johnson the best in baseball? Why do you think nobody else hired him?

            I agree that they’ll get a nice FA TOR or 2 soon though.

  4. Shane Flannagan 1 year ago

    Didnt see this coming, but i’m going to think the Cubs are going to try all they can to make a trade. Wont be getting anything but at least it be something

    • Ralph Esposito 1 year ago

      A ten dollar beer? OK, a six dollar soda. Three dollar cotton candy? A bowl of soup from Hessed House. All right, just take him.

  5. Sean Patterson 1 year ago

    Love, love, love his glove. To bad the bat just wasn’t there. Good Luck, Darwin and congrats on your recent family addition.

  6. Chiburgh 1 year ago

    A sad day for all dinosaurs.

  7. WeWillWinSomeday 1 year ago

    All of Chicago collectively rejoices!!

    • brian310 1 year ago

      Well just North side

      • WeWillWinSomeday 1 year ago

        Legend has it that when the winds blow south, the White Sox get a little hint of that Barney “no bat” magic. So they are probably happy to.

  8. Frittoman626 1 year ago

    Is it weird for me to day I hope the Yankees add this guy? His bat is beyond terrible, but at least he plays very good defense. Is rather have him at 2nd than Roberts who isn’t much better hitter, at least Barney way better defensively. The Yankees could have a respectable infield defense with Barney at 2nd and Headley at 3rd. Yes, the Yankees infield defense is so bad I’m all for Barney. 😛

    • LazerTown 1 year ago

      No way, and if the Yankees wanted to go that route they would just play Brendan Ryan regularly.

  9. Blaine 1 year ago

    About friggin time. I like Barney as a person, and I hope he gets a chance to participate as a back-up on a contender, but he’s just a road block for Alcantara right now (who is apparently finally getting the job)

  10. Chioakcisco 1 year ago

    Darwin Barney got Pipped by Alcantara.

  11. bobbleheadguru 1 year ago

    Can he play SS?

    • sourbob 1 year ago

      Yeah. He hasn’t had much chance in Chicago because of the presence of Castro. But they worked him out at SS this spring to see if it would help trade him. He looked the same as ever as a shortstop: somewhere between solid and vaguely good.

    • TheFallenSoldier 1 year ago

      He was a shortstop most of his career in the minors. He got shifted when he was called up. He can handle the position.

    • bigbadjohnny 1 year ago


    • Ron Loreski 1 year ago

      Rather have Barney over Brendan Ryan.

    • Ralph Esposito 1 year ago

      Tim Anderson is still out at AA Birmingham with a fractured wrist. Can Barney play short there?

  12. Joe 1 year ago

    I bet the Giants take a flier on him, already got Dan Uggla in AAA, so it can’t hurt to cast the net a little wider and get someone that can at least field.

    • petrie000 1 year ago

      considering Barney not only fields better but hits better these days, it would appear the Giants moved too soon.

      • Joe 1 year ago

        They can still pick up Barney, it won’t take anything away from their payroll, as they are only paying Uggla the league minimum. Barney won’t cost mich prospect wise either.

  13. petrie000 1 year ago

    Good Luck to DB going forward. As a Cubs fan i’m not entirely sad to see the job going to Alcantara (hopefully), but Barney seems like an all-around great guy. hope he lands someplace.

  14. sourbob 1 year ago

    Considering that the other two likely options were to demote Lake or Olt, I support this. Barney is terrible, even if as good or better than either of those guys at the moment. But Lake and Olt can possibly benefit by additional big league time to work out their issues. Barney would just be treading water until he was nontendered.

    • jb226 1 year ago

      I support it too — but I would also support demoting Lake and Olt. It’s a losing season so I’m not trying to squeeze out extra wins or anything, but they just look overmatched every time to the plate. I don’t know that that is good for them.

      • sourbob 1 year ago

        I think at this point–unless he turns things around dramatically–Olt’s primary purpose at this point is to take up a roster spot as a “developing 3B” so that they can have another excuse to leave Bryant in AAA. This is sounding less and less reasonable as Bryant continues to slaughter minor league pitching and Mike Olt continues to fail to hit even Darwin Barney’s weight.

        • oh Hal 1 year ago

          This sounds plausible to me. While everyone talks about who should be promoted, I suspect the FO is putting a lot of weight in avoiding starting their clocks.

  15. driftcat28 1 year ago

    Wouldnt mind the yankees getting in on Barney, should come very cheap, great defense. maybe he can work on the offense a bit.

  16. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Hey Yankees fan, its Solarte with a glove. He might hit over .300 for a month too.

  17. Ray Koenig 1 year ago

    It’s about time, now send Lake and Olt down.

  18. cubs7691 1 year ago

    Great guy, not a great bat

    • dale71 1 year ago

      But good against lefties this year at around 300, and over 375 in July at-bats overall.

  19. Puig Power 1 year ago

    The evolution of the keystone.

  20. daveineg 1 year ago

    Barney is passable offensively vs. LHP with a career .267 BA and .700 OPS, even better this year with .293 BA and .739 OPS vs. lefties.

  21. bigbadjohnny 1 year ago

    For sure, Barney was no Joe Morgan!

  22. xcal1br 1 year ago

    Anyone care to guess what the front office is thinking by putting Baez at 2B? Alcantara should be given a shot there for the remainder of the season and Baez should be getting reps at 3B. Mike Olt is clearly not the answer and Baez is only a hop, skip and a jump away from the MLB, so why are they trying him at 2b and not 3b?

    • jb226 1 year ago

      Perhaps they want to give Kris Bryant a chance to stick at 3B. If he did so, then the near-term infield would be Bryant-Castro-Baez-Rizzo. If/when Russell knocks on the door, you can decide who to rotate where (I’ve been advocating Castro to LF since we acquired Russell) or if you need to make a trade.

      • xcal1br 1 year ago

        I would LOVE to see Bryant remain at 3B, if he can handle it. Everything I’ve read since they drafted him has predicted a move to RF.
        That infield looks sick, BTW.

        • Sliders 1 year ago

          Yeah but the team looks like a young 90’s Indians Team if they can figure out a way to get Rizzo, Alcantra, Castro, Baez, Bryant and Russell in the same lineup. Rizzo at first Russell ideally at Short, maybe Alcantra in Center? Beyond that draw names from a hat or flip coins.

      • J Z 1 year ago

        Why anyone would advocate Castro moving the the outfield, I have no idea. Taking one of the best values in the game and turning him into an offensively below average LF? Nice.

    • bigbadjohnny 1 year ago

      Bryant – Castro – Baez – Rizzo……………okay, I can go with that…..
      Bryant – Castro – Russell – Rizzo…..that is okay also…with Baez In LF.

      • J Z 1 year ago

        Why the hell would you push Baez to the outfield to keep Bryant at 3B?

        The consensus on Baez is that he can probably play anywhere on the infield and worst case is that he ends up as a very good 3B. Bryant’s best case is that he’s a below average 3B.

        • Ralph Esposito 1 year ago

          None of them between Bryant, Baez and Castro can field a lick. Castro will be traded, Baez probably at second and Bryant in the outfield. Why do you think they acquired a shortstop.

  23. formerdraftpick 1 year ago

    Looks like survival of the fittest Darwin.

    • connfyoozed . 1 year ago

      It appears that his bat never was naturally selected.

  24. connfyoozed . 1 year ago

    Purple dinosaurs everywhere are crushed that their hero is going to be out of a job.

    • connfyoozed . 1 year ago

      Darn it, someone beat me to this already. :(

  25. LazerTown 1 year ago

    I called non-tender for next winter, guess the Cubs jumped the gun a bit.

  26. Brian Bellairs 1 year ago

    Don’t be surprised if there is a resurgence in the batting average once he is a member of a functional major league family! Just look back 2-3 years ago. No one was complaining then.

  27. bigbadjohnny 1 year ago

    If barney cannot get on another team…he can always walk around the ballpark in a “Barney” Dinosaur mascot cubs outfit.

  28. Alex Henry 1 year ago

    I vote the Pirates claim him. He is defiantly an upgrade over Michael Martinez and who knows when Clint Barmes comes back off the DL honestly haven’t missed him much though.

  29. fry1laurie 1 year ago

    When Luis Valbuena beats you out, it’s time to find another line of work.

  30. Kevin Newman 1 year ago

    We Got Ivan Pineyro for Scott Hairston. We ought to be able to get something for Barney. And don’t on his offense to much, he was hitting under .200 in June and his average is up to .230. July his is 15 for 39. So maybe he is bouncing back out of it. But it was a great time to DFA him. The future is coming. The Yankees make a ton of sense and it would take a low A pitcher with some upside.

  31. Red_Line_9 1 year ago

    Darwin Barney was more of a symbol than a player to me. Winning teams just don’t run Darwin Barney out there and win. Call it roster Darwinism, if you like. I’ve seen his removal as a small water mark for Cubs progress

  32. dale71 1 year ago

    Barney hit .385 in 39 July at-bats and is a top 5 fielder, plus he’s a genuinely good person from all of his comments and interviews. A contender with the need will jump on signing him. He also is hitting over. 290 against LH pitching this year.

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