Already considered a likely candidate to be moved by the trade deadline, the Chicago Cubs have designated Darwin Barney for assignment. The Chicago Tribune’s Mark Gonzales relayed that the move was done in order to activate Emilio Bonifacio from the disabled list.
Barney has been the Cubs’ primary second baseman since 2011. Defensively he’s been solid, including winning a Gold Glove in 2012, but he’s long struggled to produce much at the plate. In just over 2,000 career plate appearances Barney is a mere .244/.290/.335 hitter.
The 28 year old would have two more years of arbitration eligibility, but it was hard to see him fitting into the team’s plans given his limited offensive value. Infield is also one area where the organization is flush with prospects. Arismendy Alcantara made his debut when Barney took paternity leave earlier this month and has received most of the playing time since. Javier Baez was recently shifted over to the position at Triple-A as well. Barney’s time was coming up with the Cubs.
Chicago has already made one trade this month and is expected to be active at the deadline in moving any of their veteran pieces that they can. Barney may not bring back a substantial return, but there are enough teams in the playoff hunt that could use an upgrade at second base. Barney’s defensive abilities could help a team in the stretch run, provided there’s a strong enough lineup to carry him.