Through the past several months, Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney has come up in trade rumors on numerous occasions. The Cubs inevitably held onto him, and he set a National League record at 114 games played without an error at second base.
Everyone had always viewed Barney as solid defensively, but this year established him as elite. Undoubtedly he will win the NL gold glove award, with still only 1 error this season.
But on the other hand, you have his bat. His bat is not so well regarded, and the main reason for his name being involved in trade talks.
His average has dropped to .256, putting him in the bottom half for all second basemen in the league. When it comes to runs and RBI, he’s actually in the middle of the pack, with 59 and 39 respectively. Not too shabby, but not that great at the same time.
With RBI, I really don’t have a whole lot of expectations for second baseman, but the .256 average is unacceptable.
If the Cubs don’t think he can raise his average substantially, and run production a little, you’d have to figure his name will again be involved in trade talks this off-season…
Fellow Rant Sports writer Gil Gerard has suggested that the Cubs should target Dustin Pedroia, and I can’t say that I would disagree with that.
Pedroia is better across the board in all the major offensive categories, while still only committing 5 errors on the season.
With Theo Epstein‘s ties to the Boston Red Sox, and their recent “fire sale,” a Barney/package deal for Pedroia would seem like a realistic option.
Everyone knows the Cubs are building for the future, and Barney seems to be the best option at second base for a young rebuilding team, but the reality is that Dustin Pedroia is only 29 years old, and has a lot of good baseball left in him too.
Cubs’ fans will certainly be upset if Barney is dealt, but if a guy like Pedroia was brought in, those gripes would quickly fade away. Fan favorite or not, Chicago will likely consider all options with Barney this off-season.