Former Oregon State Beaver Darwin Barney was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash and a player to be named. The move comes just days after the Chicago Cubs put the 28 year old shortstop on the designated for assignment list.
Barney was the talkative backbone of Oregon State’s back to back National Title squads in 2006-2007. He was named Pac-10 conference freshman of the year in 2005 and was selected by Team USA Baseball roster in 2006, eventually winning a gold medal at the World University Baseball Classic.
The Beaverton, Ore. product’s highlight reel defensive abilities and clutch bat made headlines from Corvallis to Omaha.
The Chicago Cubs drafted Barney with the 127th pick in the 2007 MLB Draft.
After spending 2008, 2009, and most 0f 2010 in the Cubs farm system, Barney got the call to the show. Playing sparingly for the final two months, Barney would earn full time duties at second base at the beginning of 2011.
In 2012, Barney won the National League Gold Glove at second base, the first Cub second baseman to do so since Ryne Sandberg. During the season, Barney tied the record for the most consecutive games played without committing an error at 141.
Barney struggled at the plate in 2013, after starting the year off on the disabled list. Despite a tough run offensively, he finished second in Gold Glove voting to Cincinnati’s Brandon Phillips.
Barney’s offensive woes continued in 2014, eventually leading to the organization’s decision to designate the 28 year old for assignment on July 22.
In 217 plate appearances through 72 games in 2014, Barney is hitting a mundane .230 with two homers and 16 RBIs.
Barney will most likely fill in as the forth option in Los Angeles’ infield behind Hanley Ramirez, Dee Gordon, and Justin Turner. Although he was primarily a second baseman in Chicago, Barney most certainly has the ability to play shortstop at the major league level.
With The San Francisco Giants 1 1/2 games back in the race for the NL West, Barney will have ample opportunity to make a difference in August, September, and possibly even October.