Sep 6, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney (15) hits a single against the Milwaukee Brewers during the first inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees Should Not Trade For Darwin Barney

An interesting rumor came out this morning with the New York Yankees. They apparently could be interested in Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney. Barney is 28 years old and a slick fielding second baseman. Could be another pieces in a possible deal for Jeff Samardzija? Maybe, but the Yankees shouldn’t have Barney as a part of the deal.


Baseball teams are built with strength up the middle. Jacoby Ellsbury is a very good defensive centerfielder. Brian McCann isn’t Jose Molina behind the plate, but he’s not terrible. When Brendan Ryan plays shortstop, he’s one of the best in the game, and quite possibly the best. Barney led the league in fielding percentage the past two seasons. If you don’t want to use fielding percentage, fine. He led the National League in defensive WAR in 2012.

Here’s the thing with Barney though. If you don’t like Ryan as a hitter, Barney may be a little worse. His batting average, on-base and slugging have declined in each of the past three seasons. Last year, he hit only .202 with a .266 on-base percentage. Yuck.

Now, let’s take a look at free agent Mark Ellis. The only thing Barney has over Ellis is age, since Barney is nine years younger. Ellis last year had a .270/.323/.351 line with seven homers and 48 RBI. Ellis and Barney had the exact same defensive WAR last year at 1.5.  Offensively, Ellis was also a 1.5 WAR while Barney was -0.7. Also, Ellis will just cost  money, while Barney will cost you a player in a trade.

If the Yankees have Barney and Ryan up the middle, the defense will be excellent, but the offense will be sub-replacement level. The problem with the Yankees last season was the lack of offensive production at many places. While the Yankees have addressed their offense at a few positions, having Barney at second will be a step back. Sign Ellis and keep what you would have to trade for Barney.

Next Yankees Game View full schedule »
Tuesday, Sep 22 Sep7:05Boston Red SoxBuy Tickets

  • slider32

    How about Gardner and Murphy to the Nats for Espinosa and Storen.

    • Jd

      The Yankees won’t trade Gardner unless they get back at least a #3 or 4 starter.
      There are other options out there, but if you look at the guys they’re looking at, none of them are long-term guys. The Yankees are very high on Gumbs. And now that Cano is gone, it should lite the fire under Gumbs to move through the system quicker.

  • Jd

    The fact that names like barney, Roberts, Ellis & Drew are being thrown around, pretty much shows you the desperation within the organization to get a 2B.
    And now with the departure of Cano, I think Gumbs will get the hint & move quickly through the system. It’s his job for the future.

    But, I keep reading posts after posts about our 2B situation. And not one person has even mentioned Dean Anna. For the life of me I don’t know why?
    I know his lifer status as a minor leaguer, & anyone who the pads would trade is probably bad BS. But seriously, Johnson/Nunez platoon, is this a joke?
    Johnson will absolutely benefit from hitting in Yankee Stadium, probably hit 25 homers, if he gets enough at bats. And can we all finally admit the Nunez days are over? I like the bat, but he can’t field & doesn’t utilize his tools enough in big spots.

    Forget all this, searching for an old man or guys who can’t hit off a T. Give Anna a shot to get the job.

    • ikkf

      And Anna’s stats are impressive. I believe he’s always had a high OBP which is a good sign.

      • Jd

        Absolutely. He’s got a solid glove and will definitely benefit from hitting in the lineup and at Yankee Stadium.

        • ikkf

          Indeed. I think the Yanks can succeed without a gold plated solution at every single position.

          • Jd

            And I would rather give Anna the shot then trade prospects away for barney or sign Roberts, who hasn’t played a full season in over 5 years.
            And the people who are saying to bring Roberts in, I guess they missed or forgot about the Youkilis disaster from last season.

          • ikkf

            Totally agree. Plus, it would be nice to see an underdog and quiet professional like Anna get his due filling in for departed superstar Cano.

          • Jd

            Totally agree. The Yankees either sign high priced players under the age of 30 to absurd contracts, sign over 35 guys who they hope and pray have something left in the tank, or trade for a guy who is way passed his prime to band aid a need.
            How about they actually give the shot to an under 30 guy who is looking for an opportunity to prove himself?
            Barney, young, Reynolds, Young, enough with these guys.

            Look at how well last year turned out.
            Ichiro, Wells, Overbay, Hafner, Stewart, and Youkilis. Yeah, that worked out great huh?
            And I get that injuries forced these guys into a starting/everyday player, but still.

            And the other guy the Yankees signed from Baltimore, Yamaico Navarro. He can play any any infield position except 1st. He doesn’t have elite top prospect scouting reports. He’s improved his defense the last year +, good fastball hitter, makes a lot of contact and has good range in the field.
            Let some youth play for once & stop with the has been, injury prone messes.

          • ikkf

            Oh man I’ve been saying the exact same thing for the last 20 years. I’m tired of the Yankees seeing all their young players as nothing more than trade bait. The best thing about the ’90s dynasty was that the Core Four were homegrown (and CHEAP at the time). The free agents and big acquisitions were brought in to plug holes, not to be building blocks. Those teams were also built on guys with character. And yes, it seems like Cashman is just throwing one hail mary after another with these old, injured vets.

          • Jd

            Well, Cashman threw another hail Mary. We don’t have to worry about Barney, because they did just signed Brian Roberts. So once again, not giving the younger guy a shot. Anna will probably make the team, hopefully. But he won’t get a legit shot to be the starter. Unless Roberts is absolutely awful in spring training. But then, that’s not even a guarantee.
            And when it’s really going to get interesting is with the Tanaka posting. Because if the Yankees don’t land him, they’ll probably have to over pay for Garza or Jimenez, or make a trade for a pitcher, and a good one. & I know if it comes to that, the Yankees will have trade half their top prospects to get a decent pitcher.

            And they’re are rumors still be reported that the Yankees will probably bring in Reynolds or Young. I don’t get it.
            We have Roberts now, Kelly Johnson, Anna, Nunez, Jeter, Ryan, have to assume Arod will be here until we hear the decision. So that’s 7 infielders and they’re still talking about bringing in Reynolds or Young, am I missing something here?

            Let’s now assume Arod is out & by process of elimination, Nunez Is probably done as a Yankee. That definitely means they’ll sign Reynolds or Young. So that’s 6 infielders, which is okay, because they’ll need someone to give Tex a day off every now and then. So Reynolds or Young could definitely do that.
            But we have 8 Outfielders on the 40 man roster, including Johnson, who is a LF & Almonte, although I think he’ll start the year in SWB.
            So essentially, they’re going to probably trade ichiro for nothing & just cut Wells. And our bench will be filled with 35 + year old guys except for Anna, Ryan and Cervelli.
            Does that make any sense to you?
            That’s terrible.

          • ikkf

            It’s just mind boggling. There are two reasons the Yankees never develop any prospects. They flat out don’t know how to run a farm system, or they destroy their prospects’ confidence by signing veterans at the big league level to block their way. I remember Sterling Hitchcock once saying, “With the Yankees it’s give a guy 6, 7 starts and if he doesn’t do anything, get rid of him and bring in Dave LaPoint.” I think they gave Ian Kennedy a grand total of 12 starts before shipping him outta there. They got rid of Ajax before he had a chance to do anything.

            The only thing Cashman can do is overpay free agents. That’s why he’ll never leave the Yankees. Without a ton of money to waste everywhere, he’d have no idea what to do and would be out of a job in a year.

          • ikkf

            Another fun stat: The Yanks have committed $231 million to their five outfielders.

  • Hunter Farman

    I would stay away from Barney at all costs, personally.