Darwin Barney Has Earned A Permanent Spot With Chicago Cubs

With the exception of Anthony Rizzo, Starlin Castro, and Jeff Samardzija, there hasn’t been a single player on this Chicago Cubs team that hasn’t been involved in trade rumors at one point or another.

That includes second baseman Darwin Barney, who has apparently been a target of a couple teams out on the market, the Detroit Tigers being the team most often mentioned in regard to him.

Barney burst onto the scene with the Cubs last season, grabbing the starting second base job early on after Jeff Baker and Blake DeWitt failed to nail it down. His effort and defense, along with a pretty steady bat all season (.276 average) made him a fan favorite at Wrigley very quickly.

It’s some of those elements that make him a guy that the Chicago Cubs should consider keeping around, rather than make him a trade chip in this massive overhaul of the organization.

As far as defensive players go in Major League Baseball, Darwin Barney is elite. He’s one of the game’s best second basemen with the glove, with just a single error this season. Along with the exponentially improving defense of Starlin Castro, the Cubs have the ability to field the best defensive middle infield in baseball.

Though his bat isn’t the greatest, you could do a lot worse than him when you look at some of the other second basemen in the league. His added strength have helped him pick up the power just a bit and he’s set to knock in more than the 43 runs that he batted in last season. He won’t win any batting titles, but it’s his glove that makes him a starter in the bigs to begin with.

The Cubs are obviously set to be sellers for the next few weeks, as the trade deadline approaches. And, with the obvious exception of Rizzo, Castro, and Samardzija, they should be willing to listen and/or move on anyone on the roster. But they should very seriously consider adding Barney to that list and make him part of the future, rather than a trade chip.

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  • jose

    I like Barney a lot but I have to disagree. If he doesn’t improve offensively the front office will (and should) continue to look for his replacement. His OBP in particular is second to last for second basemen in the NL and fourth to last in the majors. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to improve drastically to move up the list and if he does I’ll be happy to agree with you because Castro and Barney look really good up the middle.

  • Ronman

    Totally agree with this article and can’t understand why anyone would be so anxious to trade Barney. It is common baseball wisdom that you need to be strong on defense up the middle and with Barney, and to a sightly lesser degree, Castro, they have a great middle infield combo. Barney’s bat is good enough and I suspect he will eventually hit around .280. Not every member of your team has to be an All-Star to have a winning season and Barney provides the team a great glove, a decent bat and a great attitude. I hope the Cubs hang onto him.