Cubs Rumors: Yankees Interested In Darwin Barney?

Brian Kersey

It's just a tweet. But could the Cubs' second baseman be headed to New York?

Bruce Levine has a rumor for you this morning:

Translation: the Yankees were interested in Infante, but since he signed with the Royals, New York might turn its attention to Barney.

That's ignoring the fact that the Yankees just signed Kelly Johnson, who could become a full-time second baseman for them, although Johnson started just 14 games at second base in 2013. The Yankees might be looking at Johnson as an all-purpose utility man instead of a starting second baseman.

Barney had a horrific offensive season in 2013; only two qualified players (Adeiny Hechavarria and Alcides Escobar) had a lower OPS than Barney's .569. Barney would have to get back to his 2011 level of production (.666 OPS, 83 OPS+) to be even a decent major-league player. Obviously, Barney's defensive skills provide value beyond his bat.

I'm not even sure what the Yankees would have to offer in return; with Barney's declining offense, it likely wouldn't be much. Barney was drafted in 2007 under the Jim Hendry regime, and with Hendry now a special assistant to Brian Cashman, he might recommend his former draft pick.

For the Cubs, if they traded Barney, it might mean they think that Javier Baez could be ready for full-time play in 2014, either at second base, or at shortstop, with Starlin Castro shifting to second.

Should the Cubs trade Barney? Your thoughts, in the comments.

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