Levine: Yankees, Cubs talked about Darwin Barney


Via Bruce Levine: The Yankees and Cubs discussed infielder Darwin Barney at some point earlier this offseason. He speculates the two sides could reconnect now that Robinson Cano and Omar Infante have picked new teams, indicating the talks weren’t particularly recent.

Barney, 28, is pretty much the second base version of Brendan Ryan. He’s a terrible hitter (67 wRC+ in 1,799 career plate appearances) but a standout defender, a legitimate 10+ runs saved guy. Matt Swartz projects Barney to earn $2.1M in his first trip through arbitration this winter, which is nuts. If you’re going to spend that kinda cash on another no-hit/all-glove infielder, just sign Mark Ellis and keep whatever prospect you’d have to send to Chicago. At least Ellis hits lefties.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League
  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    If the Yankees have to trade for Barney then they might as well fire everyone who has anything to do with the major and minor league system and release every player as well. All of them. No exceptions. The only people left in the organization would be the Steinbrenner Boys, Levine and Darwin Barney

    • Havok9120

      Post of the Day so far.

    • waneditor


    • nycsportzfan

      I was thinking the same thing. I swear, for guys who make what front office GM’s and such make, it boggles my mind at how stupid some of the moves most of em make and consider making.

      Its like they try and make deals that litteraly don’t make sense to the rest of the world. Oh well.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Hell, just make Levine the gm, mgr.,3rd, 1st, bench, hitting & pitching coaches, & plug the 2nd base hole with him while your at it. Ladies & Gents, I give you the true face(s) of the NY Yankees: Randy Levine now, Randy Levine tomorrow, Randy Levine forever.

  • Tom

    .626 OPS over 4 years?

    The Yankees don’t need another Chris Stewart, and they certainly don’t need to be trading assets for him.

    • Tom

      I should say .628 OPS, and in that light…

  • Cuso

    For a second there, I thought Randy was going to have to apologize to the Cubs.

    • RetroRob

      This should be a day of Levine apologies.

      Randy for his Trout comment.
      Bruce for his Barney speculation.
      Adam for being better looking than me.

      • Pseudoyanks

        What about Avril?

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Why’d you have to go and make things so complicated?

  • Graig not Craig

    “Bruce Levine speculates the two sides could reconnect…”

    And I speculate Wells Fargo could give away free hundred dollar bills on Monday morning. Meet me at the bank.

  • hogsmog

    If they sign Mark Ellis and keep Gardner, there’s a chance this could be the best defensive Yankees team we’ve seen in a while.

    • Preston

      Only on days Jeter doesn’t start at SS…

  • RetroRob

    The Yankees can not carry two position players who are defense only. I suspect these “conversations” occurred prior to the Brendan Ryan signing. Move along.

    • Fin

      I agree that is most likely the case but who knows…Did anyone really think the Yankees would go into last year with Stewvelli as their catching situation or Ichiro as their left fielder, trade for Wells?

  • Fin

    A worse hitter than Stewie playing 2b. Sign me up! If the Yankees are looking to replace Cano with the worst possible hitter they have found their man. .208/.266/.303 last year WOAH!

  • Steve (different one)

    The Yankees have talked about almost every player in the league this winter.

  • Mr. Pappageorgio

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’d rather have Nunez at 2b than Barney – and I despise Nunez.

    I’ve been wishing to the hot-stove fairies that next year will be Chris Stewart and Eduardo Nunez free. I have 1/2 of that wish granted so far…

    • Fin

      I’d rather have Soriano at 2b over Barney…Nuenz is no brainer.

    • LarryM Fl

      Eduardo Nunez lurks on the 40 man roster. You will not know if you are free of scissor-hands until final cuts of ST. It is an intolerable length of time to wait for relief.

      • Joey

        I’d miss the articles about how Nunez’s defense is improving every time he makes it through a game without an error

  • Eselquetodolosabe

    Another sub-type infielder to add to the mix ? Interesting. I get the impression that Nuñez’ days as a Yankee are numbered. Ok, with that said, FoTD time: Nuñez starts to fulfill that glimpse of occasional potential he’s teased us with…., for another team. i.e., The Cubs. Tread lightly NY, tread lightly.

  • Greene

    Aaron Hill.

  • dkidd

    get him so sterling can describe his swing as “darwinian”

  • Greene

    Or they should have kept David Adams and given the kid a chance to develop. Has good potential with the stick and was average to above average with the glove, and he could play ALL infield positions. Perfectly good case of the Yankees letting prospects either leave for another team (padres) or trading them for over valued players in the decline of their careers.

    • Joey

      I couldn’t believe they just let him go without knowing who is playing 2nd or 3rd next season. I don’t know what they expected from Adams last season, adjusting to the majors and adjusting to 3rd at the same time.

      • MartinRanger

        Cleveland gave David Adams a major league contract. That means he’s on the 25-man roster. The Yankees do not have the flexibility to match that, and I question the Indians’ wisdom in any case.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      SS is an IF position.

    • Steve (different one)

      I think it is far from a given that letting Adams leave is an example of anything.

      Also, I’m pretty sure SS is an infield position…

    • Get Phelps Up (looking for a new name)

      Adams was even worse offensively than Darwin Barney in 2013

      • Joey

        150 PA for Adams and he played an unfamiliar position. So that’s all he gets?

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          At pushing 27? Perhaps.

          • Nick Social

            I had no idea how beloved David Adams was until I read this thread!

    • Joey

      I still find the Jose Quintana thing hilarious. It’s a rare case that the Yankees are actually able to find a young starter with potential, but they can’t even recognize it when they do

    • BFDeal

      The “kid” will be 27 in May and has 1800 milb PA. I think he was given a chance.

      • Dave M

        “The “kid” will be 27 in May and has 1800 milb PA. I think he was given a chance.”

        Thanks you!!! You said it, so I don’t have to.

  • Eduardo “VeggieTales” Nunez

    I heard he has great natural pitch selection.

  • Steve

    Seriously ? Why does this team have an attraction to washed up backup type players ?

    • Matt DiBari

      I think “washed up” implies that Barney was once good.

  • cheddar

    I’d rather have Darius Barney, assuming he’s recovered from those Danny Bonaduce-induced injuries.

  • Matt DiBari


  • Pseudoyanks

    Darwin would never survive in the Bronx.

  • Greene

    And how many more plate appearances did Barney have? And how many more years has barney had to develop(not really). Oh and barney can’t play third, short, or first. Ohhhh and he costs more!? And he’s older?!?

    • Greene

      I’d take David Adams over Barney and Ryan.

      • CashmanNinja

        Adams did nothing offensively. Nothing. Darwin Barney had better numbers than him…OFFENSIVELY. I still think Adams was intriguing, but the guy simply couldn’t stay healthy and when he was given a chance he really didn’t do anything with it. He still just doesn’t look ready to hit at the major league level. Hell, his strikeout percentage was about 30%. Ouch. Owww.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        You’re entitled to do that, but the two you’re not taking have actual major league track records while the other whiffed his first MLB opportunity at 26. Perhaps Adams does blossom, but you’re taking him solely on faith.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      On what planet can David Adams play SS?

    • BFDeal

      Barney is only a year older than Adams. You must be that guy who revoked his fandom because they cut Adams last winter.

  • CashmanNinja

    Barney does have a nice glove, but I didn’t realize he’d be that expensive. I think Brendan Ryan is a better bargain considering he can do that at SS compared to 2B. It’s not that Barney isn’t a good player; it’s that he’s extremely one dimensional. He’s a defender. That’s it. He may have a little power (aka – barely able to crack double digits if he has a strong wind at his back), but it literally looks like he provides nothing else offensively. Nothing. At least Mark Ellis can play defense and somewhat hit. Kind of. He’s no longer a 15 HR/65 RBI type of player, but at least he could hit .260 – .270. I’d still rather find a way to get Marco Scutaro. He’s a bit up there in age as well, but he can still hit at a decent clip. He’s a good contact/on-base guy. He’ll basically provide around a league average bat…maybe a tick above average. And his defense isn’t too bad. It isn’t Darwin Barney good, but it’s better than say…Eduardo Nunez would be. The only problem is that he’s due some money, but oh well. Maybe they could trade someone they have no use for and have the Giants eat a little money. We could do worse. I’m still rather relieved that we didn’t get Infante because 4 years would be way too much for a player like him.

  • cheddar

    My preference would be to do nothing until the A-Rod verdict comes in. We can’t really know what our needs are until that’s resolved.

    There are no stand-out options among free agents at 2nd or 3rd right now, so it’s not like we’d be missing out on something special.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Is it possible they discussed this guy before bringing on Kelly Johnson?

    Obviously, even in a now-thin market, we could do better. An all-world defensive middle sounds great, but they still have to come to bat.

    • nycsportzfan

      Could he be just a piece with Jeff Samrdzija in a deal? That is a possibility also. If that were the case, i’d not mind the deal nearly as much. Gardner would almost certainly be part of the deal.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I think he’s probably a bit overrated AND we don’t have the pieces to meet the asking price (Smardzija – I know I mispelled that by a mile), and that Barney may have been UTL talk at th start of the offseason.

  • Joey

    With such a thin infield market and after going out and spending 305 million for 3 players, it’s absolutely unbelievable that the Yankees would allow themselves to get outbid by 6 million by the KC Royals for Infante. He would have been a perfect fit with his versatility in the infield, even if he didn’t hit quite as well as he did in his breakout season last year.

    • Joey

      and not just 6 million – 6 million FOUR YEARS FROM NOW. Crazy. It’s the very definition of being penny wise and dollar foolish. It’s like the exact opposite of what the Red Sox did last offseason. Everyone felt they were overpaying for Victorino, and maybe they did. But the reality is they got a productive outfielder at a reasonable price, which is a rarity. “Fair value” on the free agent market doesn’t exist. A 4 year 30 million dollar contract would have been NOTHING for the Yankees… They’re paying Ichiro 6.5 million this season!

      • BFDeal

        Refusing to go four years on a very average player is not the same as getting outbid. Giving Infante four years may very well be the definition of “dollar foolish”.

        • Joey

          Sorry but if you think that 1 year 6 million is DOLLARS to the NY Yankees, clearly you have not been paying attention. This is not a fourth year at 20 million. This is a fourth year at 7.5 million (and only 6 million more overall on the whole contract), which is almost exactly league average salary for a starting position player. WAR is not the be all end all stat of course, but the past 3 seasons Infante has had WARs of 3.1, 2.4, 2.8, and 2.4 (in only 118 games) – of course not amazing, but consistent. And that production is well worth 7.5 million to a team like the Yankees where they have few alternatives. And 1 WAR goes for about 5 million on the FA market, which is easily attainable for Infante.

          • Joey

            past 4 seasons I meant

          • BFDeal

            Oh, really, the fourth year wasn’t for $20M? Glad you cleared that up.

  • Stratocaster

    OK, so the guy can’t hit… But isn’t anybody just a little bit interested in finding out about his pitch framing skills?

  • Caballo Sin Nombre

    I’d like to see some Intelligent Design behind this team. Count me in the anti-Darwin camp.

  • JGYank

    He’s like the Brendan Ryan of 2b. Imagine both of them in the lineup at the same time. No thanks. Ellis looks like a more attraction option by the minute.