Cubs trade infielder Darwin Barney to Dodgers
BY GORDON WITTENMYER Staff Reporter July 28, 2014 10:36PM
Updated: July 28, 2014 11:10PM
A week after they designated Darwin Barney for assignment, the Cubs traded the 2012 Gold Glove second baseman to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named.
The Cubs are at least as active as most teams in discussions as they near the trade deadline Thursday with several players still available.
And while many expect at least one or two more deals this week involving pending free agents, it might not be the fire sale many predicted a month or more ago.
Team president Theo Epstein said last week that the Cubs valued the continuity provided by some of the contributors who remain under club control going forward (players such as potential trade targets Luis Valbuena, James Russell and Justin Ruggiano).
“When you have players who have been working together over time, continuity does seem to help,” manager Rick Renteria said before Ruggiano drove in a run and Russell pitched part of a scoreless eighth in the Cubs’ 4-1 victory Monday night over the Colorado Rockies.
“You have some consistency and personalities getting to know each other. You can’t guarantee that change won’t occur after the trade deadline. I can’t. . . . But the players that we have continue to grow together. . . . And I’ll continue to see the guys that we have here not thinking too much about what may or may not happen after, and continue to build on the players that are performing for us right now and keep moving forward.”
It’s unclear how Barney immediately fits in with a Dodgers team that has an All-Star second baseman in Dee Gordon as well as Hanley Ramirez at shortstop. For now, he looks like a versatile late-inning defensive boost and possible defensive upgrade at short if Ramirez switches positions again.
Barney is scheduled to travel to Los Angeles on Wednesday, and if he’s added to the 25-man roster right away, he could face the Cubs this weekend in L.A.
“People always talk about that perspective of someone coming back and biting you [after trading them away],” Renteria said.
“From a scouting standpoint, you look at possible MVPs, guys that become superstars, things of that nature. Anytime you lose someone that has shared quality play, you always hope that doesn’t bite you in a particular game somewhere down the road.”
NOTES: Kyuji Fujikawa, the $9.5 million reliever recovering from Tommy John surgery, told Japanese reporters he had finished his prescribed rehab after pitching consecutive games Saturday and Sunday for Class AAA Iowa. That could put him in line to join the Cubs’ bullpen by the end of the week.
◆ Tsyushi Wada (1-1), the veteran Japanese left-hander acquired over the winter as a minor-league free agent, earned his first big-league victory Monday night, pitching seven sharp innings and allowing just five hits and a walk.