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Cubs, Darwin Barney avoid arbitration for $2.3 million

Feb 6, 2014, 1:45 PM EDT

Darwin Barney Getty Getty Images

Second baseman Darwin Barney and the Cubs have agreed to a one-year, $2.3 million contract to avoid arbitration.

Barney is one of the worst-hitting regulars in baseball, batting just .208 with seven homers and a .569 OPS last season and .246 with a .628 OPS for his career, but the Cubs love his defense at second base.

This could be a make-or-break year for him in Chicago, because $2.3 million is a sizable jump in salary for a first-year arbitration eligible player and it’s tough to imagine the Cubs wanting to pay for another big jump in 2015 unless he shows some semblance of improvement offensively.

  1. Alex K - Feb 6, 2014 at 2:44 PM

    I hope this is his last year as a regular with the Cubs.

    • angrytwitterguy - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:13 PM

      It is, he’s just keeping 2B warm for Baez

      • Alex K - Feb 6, 2014 at 8:17 PM

        I think that Arismendy Alcantara is the guy that takes over 2B.

  2. seeinred87 - Feb 6, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Darwin Barney is one of those players that I just like and have no idea why. I’m just a sucker for no-hit middle infielders, I guess (I’m looking at you, Danny Espinosa).

  3. wjarvis - Feb 6, 2014 at 5:39 PM

    Barney’s OPS+ for the past three years were 83 76 and 56. Obviously without any improvement he’s going to struggle getting a job in many places. However, if he can get back to the level of 2 and 3 years ago where’s he’s just a bad hitter and not a terrible hitter then he’ll probably be back with the Cubs. People forget that Baez isn’t actually better defensively than Castro, so a middle infield of Castro and Baez could be ugly at times. I’d have no problem with a gold glove caliber second baseman with Barney’s ’11 slash line of .276/.313/.353, at least until more of the Cubs prospects show they can be successful at the major league level.

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