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Cubs designate Darwin Barney for assignment, activate Emilio Bonifacio from disabled list

Jul 22, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

Darwin Barney Getty Getty Images

Darwin Barney logged 500-plus plate appearances for the Cubs each season from 2011-2013 and was the Opening Day second baseman this year, but today he was designated for assignment to make roster room for Emilio Bonifacio‘s return from the disabled list.

Barney is a good defender, but he’s hit just .244 with a .625 OPS in 542 career games as a big leaguer, including .230 with a .594 OPS in 72 games this year. At age 28 he doesn’t have any real upside, but should be able to latch on somewhere as a utility infielder.

His being let go suggests the Cubs are ready to stick with 22-year-old rookie Arismendy Alcantara at second base after initially calling him up two weeks ago as temporary roster depth. In fact, his debut came specifically because Barney went on paternity leave. Alcantara has batted .286 with six extra-base hits and three steals in eight games and if the Cubs do decide to send him back to the minors at some point they could always just turn to Bonifacio at second base.

  1. digbysellers - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM

    This move was not Bonificial for Barney

  2. kctrain33 - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    I’m sure a team will pounce on him. Good bench guy that can play defense up the middle is hard to find this year.

    • mazblast - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      Except that he can’t play anywhere but 2B and isn’t much of a hitter.

  3. 49faithful - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Go get him Beane you know you want too

  4. nclrbrt - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    SF ought to try to swing a trade for Bonifacio. He’d be a lot cheaper than Utley.

    • okobojicat - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      Bonifacio has been terrible since the first month of the season. Not a lot of value there.

      • paperlions - Jul 22, 2014 at 5:16 PM

        Plus, he has generally been terrible throughout the majority of the rest of his career as well. His only real value is on the bases, where he can be quite useful.

  5. tfilarski - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    the future of this franchise is about to turn the corner!

    • okobojicat - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      I think this is a sign that everyone in AAA will be up this year. Theo had ever reason to send Alcy back down to AAA and let him play out the year with Baez and Bryant and bring them up next year together.

      But this means that Alcy play all year at 2B/CF and see if he can handle CF as they don’t really have anyone out there blocking him. Baez and Bryant will probably come up when Roster expand in Sept and Bryant possibly even before then as he has no one blocking him. This is a sign that A: they have faith in Renteria developing young players (look at turn arounds of Castro and Rizzo this year) and B: they want their best players playing in MLB sooner. They aren’t going to hold off another 3 months just for Arb reasons.

      • tfilarski - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        I think I would expect Soler before Bryant or Baez since he is already on the 40 man roster

      • wjarvis - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        I still think Baez will be up before Soler, probably after the Cubs make another minor trade or in Sept. Bryant definitely won’t be up this year, and probably won’t start next year on the Cubs either, purely so he’ll be cheaper for longer.

      • Bar None - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        @tfilarski – Soler is in Arizona rehabbing an injury. He won’t be up any time soon.

      • wjarvis - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:38 PM

        Soler is back in Tennessee playing at AA and has been for most of July, he has a .410/.500/.852 slash line right now in 21 games which is pretty ridiculous. But the fact he’s only played in 117 games in 3 years, (and only 61 AB above A ball so far in his career) due to several injuries is why I don’t think he’ll get called up this year.

  6. 18thstreet - Jul 22, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    This is really a great reminder of just how awful a team Theo inherited when he took control after the 2011 season. Barney and Castro were the two young players on that squad, and they are both terrible.

    • tfilarski - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:25 PM

      Castro terrible, eh? go home, you are drunk

  7. psuorioles - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    I could see the O’s trying to grab him…

  8. Marty McKee - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:08 PM

    Shhhhhh…don’t tell Walt Jocketty this guy’s on the market.

    • mazblast - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      I’m not sure Jocketty has much in the way of trade chips to offer, I’m not sure Theo wants to trade within the division, and Walt’s too stubborn and cocksure to admit his team needs help.

      Oh, and based on what Jocketty has no doubt seen from several years of divisional games, Barney is not much of an upgrade from Santiago and Schumaker.

  9. hoopmatch - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    I wonder if Barney knows the story of Wally Pipp…

    • rickrenteria - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      Who is the Lou Gehrig in your nonsensical scenario?

      • okobojicat - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        Also, Wally Pipp was a good ballplayer.

      • dsaverno - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:56 PM

        because every chauvinist has to be a french soldier, every sadist a marquis, every maverick a cattle owner and every casanova a venetian. too literal manager is too literal.

      • mazblast - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        Alcantara = Gehrig.

  10. fomeols - Jul 22, 2014 at 4:34 PM

    The Orioles will grab him.
    They can always use a stronge defense/no hit second baseman!

    • paperlions - Jul 22, 2014 at 5:17 PM

      Bonifacio is really a no defense/no hit/good base running second baseman. Can they use that?

  11. blacksables - Jul 22, 2014 at 5:42 PM

    It’s cute that the Cubs think they can get better.

  12. 1harrypairatesties - Jul 22, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    Why a team can’t find room for a Gold Glove Award winner, I don’t know. I don’t care what he’s hitting its a stupid move.

    • mazblast - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:34 PM

      Have you seen Barney “hit”?

  13. rosloe62 - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:00 PM

    Golden Glove + Lead Bat = bye bye

  14. kabukiman7 - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    There is a God!!! Finally, Day after Day.. The 1st thing I say in Prayer is” Lord, Please let the Cubs Release that Awful Crusty Turd named Darwin Barney!!” And finally, its been heard.. This was the single greatest accomplishment since Team Thoyer took over.. I can now rest each night, Barney is like being Diagnosed with AIDS.. This was long overdue as he absolutely sucks as a hitter, and he may have caught everything in a 3 foot radius but his range was like a Frigidaire Stove.. So nothing impressed me about his defense, you do this daily, so yes, he was supposed to catch them.. At the plate was worthless and didnt even need a bat.. He thinks he had power and pulled everything, pulled it str8 up in the air, str8 to the Left fielder.. But today. I consider myself.. The luckiest man alive.. Move over Lou.. This speech now needs to be tied to The Release of The Worst Cub to ever Dawn on the Uniform.. So long you horrible waste of my precious Air.. I hope noone gives you a chance so you cant ruin another die hards Day!! Now go start up a Car Dealership in Oregan, you are the Weakest Link!!! Claude Have Mercy and Thank You GOD!!

    • 18thstreet - Jul 22, 2014 at 7:18 PM

      And I thought I was overreacting with joy to AJP’s release from the Red Sox.

    • beaston - Jul 22, 2014 at 9:49 PM

      So, your trying to say you don’t like him? You were kind of vague.

    • mazblast - Jul 23, 2014 at 2:37 PM

      If you think Barney was “The Worst Cub to ever Dawn on the Uniform”, assuming what you actually meant was “don the uniform”, you are sadly mistaken. He does indeed stink, but there are so many worse that I won’t even mention any names.

      The only thing I’ve ever liked about him was the first name, given how many players are named “Jesus” or “Cristian”.

  15. Bar None - Jul 22, 2014 at 8:21 PM

    I have always enjoyed scrappy players like Barney, Bellhorn, Punto, Ojeda. Sad to see him go. Unless he ends up at AAA as a non-40 man player.

  16. thehawg - Jul 23, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Marlins need a 2nd baseman.

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