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Rangers keeping an eye on Darwin Barney

Updated: March 26, 2014 12:24AM

MESA, Ariz. — If the Rangers have anything left of interest in their farm system — and if their “haunted” general manager is willing to trade with the Cubs again — Darwin Barney could be the next Cub to head to Texas.

The Rangers had a scout at the game Tuesday against the Angels to evaluate the Gold Glove second baseman (who played shortstop), according to a major-league source.

The Cubs have fielded calls this week from teams looking to fill late-spring roster needs, another source said.

The Rangers — two seasons removed from back-to-back World Series appearances — lost second baseman Jurickson Profar to a shoulder injury that could sideline him half the season.

Some in the organization are skeptical GM Jon Daniels would be eager to jump into negotiations after sending six young players to the Cubs the last two seasons for so-so rent-a-player performances from Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza.

“[The Garza] one’s got a chance to haunt us and haunt me,” Daniels recently told the Arizona Republic.

Meanwhile, Cubs manager Rick Renteria was conspicuously vague when asked if he still considers Barney his starting second baseman — as he had said early in camp.

“I think as we go into the season, we have certain guys that are going to play particular positions, and the second day you might see a different lineup,” Renteria said. “The reality is that the matchups that we have and that we’re looking at throughout the course of the season will determine how we use all our guys.”

If Mike Olt wins the third-base job, the Cubs would have a surplus of players available for second base, including lefty-hitting Luis Valbuena, who otherwise would be a platoon third baseman.

Castro passes test

As promised, the Cubs “pushed” shortstop Starlin Castro in aggressive fielding drills, and he responded well enough to put to rest any lingering doubts that his hamstring could be a problem going into the season.

‘‘He did some extensive, strong agility fielding,” Renteria said. “Left, right, forward, back — quick, explosive actions, and he looked good in all of them.

“I’m totally comfortable with his health. He’s 100 percent.”

Castro seemed even more upbeat than he had been in recent days as he works back from the March 2 hamstring injury

“I didn’t feel anything,” he said, “not scary, nothing.”


Twitter: @GDubCub

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