Yankees Reportedly Interested in Barney, Cubs Continue to Wait on Tanaka

Bruce Levine reported on Saturday morning the Yankees interest in Darwin Barney may pickup with Omar Infante no longer available after signing with the Kansas City Royals. Levine has been consistent with his reporting of the Yankees interest in Barney and indicated during his Hot Stove Show on The Score that those talks could move to the forefront in the coming days. The Yankees could see Barney as a starter depending on how their roster shakes out or a late inning defensive replacement.

Darwin Barney is arbitration eligible for the first time and is coming off just a miserable season at the plate (.208/.266/.303/.569). But for as bad it was for him offensively, he did not take his offensive struggles to the field. Barney’s defense stood out again and he would fit a need for a team like the Yankees. Barney is in line to make between $1.8 and $2.2 million next year and he recently said he and the Cubs are on the same page with his arbitration figure which would help facilitate a trade.

The Cubs value Darwin Barney for his defense and leadership on the field and will have to weigh a possible return on what he could provide early in the season until other players make a push for his starting job.

Masahiro Tanaka

Reports last week indicated the Rakuten Golden Eagles would meet with Masahiro Tanaka around Dec. 15 to determine whether or not he will be posted. The new posting rules are agreed upon and are just waiting for the MLB Executive Council to give final approval.

Yozo Tachibana, Rakuten’s President, told reporters during the Winter Meetings he is not sure if Tanaka wants to be posted or not and he would sit down with his pitcher on (or around) Dec. 15 to find out.

The delay on the new posting system and Rakuten’s decision on whether or not to post Tanaka has put Major League Baseball in a holding pattern. Teams that are interested in Tanaka are not willing to commit to free agent starters and teams discussing trades involving pitching are not willing to make the deals until the process with Tanaka plays out.

Bruce Levine reported the Cubs are putting all of their chips on Tanaka this off-season and have avoided “middle moves” because they are waiting on Tanaka.

The Cubs view Tanaka has a long-term investment and are willing to spend the money that they have, in order to sign him. The Cubs will have to outbid teams such as the Yankees, Dodgers, Angels, Mariners and Diamondbacks that are also believed to have Tanaka at the top of their list. The general consensus is a contract for Tanaka could hit the $100 million mark, plus the $20 million posting fee.

If he is posted, which could be determined in the next 48 hours, the Cubs will be involved in the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes.

Jeff Samardzija

The Cubs met with several teams during the Winter Meetings to discuss Jeff Samardzija. But the front office did not receive the offers they are wanting in a return for Samardzija. The front office has put a large price tag, in terms of prospects, on Samardzija and is not willing to accept a deal just to make one.

The Cubs and Samardzija are communicating throughout this process and are still discussing a long-term contract. The two sides are not on the same page with the Cubs most recent five-year offer.

Another factor in regards to Samardzija is the team’s ability to sign Masahiro Tanaka, again if he is posted. Tanaka is projected to be a top of the rotation starter in the majors. If Tanaka is added to the Cubs’ rotation it would not only help the building process but would show Samardzija the team is serious about winning baseball games.

News and Notes

According to ESPN Chicago, the Cubs specifically told Jorge Soler to take it easy out of the box on grounders in the Arizona Fall League. The Cubs did not want Soler re-injuring his foot in the AFL on meaningless groundouts.

As previously reported, Brooks Raley is transitioning from a starter to a reliever and could end up as a solid lefty reliever that can also pitch multiple innings. It sounds like Zac Rosscup is penciled in to begin the season in Iowa with James Russell and Wesley Wright going into Spring Training as the favorites to be Rick Renteria’s two lefties in the pen.

According to Dan Bernstein and Greg Hinz, the city is not only pressing the Cubs to begin the Wrigley Field Restoration project but is putting the heat on the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association to resolve their issues with the team so Tom Ricketts will green-light the project.

Mark O’Neal, the Cubs’ Director of Medical Administration/Athletic Training, was named President of the Professional Athletics Training Society during the Winter Meetings.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"The will to succeed is important, but what's more important is the will to prepare." - Bobby Knight
Share on Fancred
  • raymondrobertkoenig

    Can’t believe it would take much from the Yankees to get Barney. Maybe a PTBNL from an agreed upon list.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Remember the name of NikTurley…pitcher in Yankees system….he could be the PTBNL

    • Ripsnorter1

      If it took a 25th ranked prospect to land Soriano plus $18 million,
      I would think Barney would be cheaper.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    This report, with a very strange source, is indicating the Cubs have signed Samardzija to an extension.

    http://www.csnchicago.com/cubs/have-cubs-extended-jeff-samardzija-dan-dakich-says-yes

    I am checking, and if that is the case I will post a report. For now, this is unconfirmed.

    • SuzyS

      Gotta love the “instant” media these days!

      • John_CC

        Right. But I think you meant instant “media” Suzy. Assuming we still think of media as journalism, which is the first mistake.

    • Bredstik

      Yeah, that link is now showing up with a Not Authorized error. Seems like the reporter jumped the gun.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        He did and said so on Twitter.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Dan O’Brien – Braves are the “mystery team” that’s been talking with Gavin Floyd. Believed to be close to a deal, but not finalized yet.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Here is the reporters response – Dan Hayes CSN – A baseball source has shot down report that #Cubs have resigned Jeff Samardzija for $55 million.

  • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

    I predict we get Tanaka if he’s posted. Theo has experience in getting Japanese players and the new system seems to be pretty fair.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      Tanaka wants to win now…..
      Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Dodges all have something more to offer then the Cubs these days.

      • Jeff in AZ

        Just asking…where did you hear or read that Tanaka wants to win “now”? I can’t find that anywhere?

        • CubbyDenCritic

          You mean there are players out there who are willing to be on teams that never won a World Series for the last 105 years?…that has three straight 90 loss seasons….going on four!
          Willing not to play in Southern California and be in the playoffs with major hitters backing you up?…….or wear the Pin Strips for a team that has a winning tradition for the same amount of dollars that the Cubs are willing to offer?
          Tanaka rather have Lake, Barney & Sweeney give him runs over Pujols, Trout, Hamillton, Ellsbury, Texieria, Kemp, Puig, Crawford, Ramirez, Gonzalez ?
          Lets not even get into who will close those games for Tanaka if he was a Cub.
          Jeff….if you were Tanaka, you would take the Cubs over the other better teams?…..even if the Cubs offer less money?

        • BosephHeyden

          I don’t think there are any sources out there to show that. But at the same time, if he was given a choice between New York, Boston and two LA teams, one of which is coming of a playoff run and the other that tries every year to at least look like they might, and a Chicago team that MIGHT be ready to compete in a few years, I can’t think of any professional athlete that would take a deal with Chicago unless the money involved was a “blow away” offer (which, considering the deep pockets of the other four teams, seems unlikely).

          • CubbyDenCritic

            thank you!……common sense on this Tanaka issue.

          • dicepaul

            Then it could depend on how sure of himself Tanaka is. In Japan pride is very important. What if Tanaka doesn’t feel he is ready for the win now attitude and extra pressure? If he falls short with the Dodgers or Yankees he could be blamed for costing them the playoffs where the same record with the Cubs might look pretty good in comparison.

      • Larry Schwimmer

        I think we can make 2 assumptions: (1) Any of those teams can come up with a competitive bid to match their competitors. In other words, Tanaka’s agent will play all teams against the other and work the highest bid; (2) Once Tanaka is told that (e.g) 2 of those teams will pay the same amount as the other teams, the next question will be: which team is poised to win over the next 1-2 years? I ask my fellow CUBS fan friends…of those 4 teams who will all be willing to pay about the same amount…would Tanaka choose a perennial LOSER like the CUBS to sign with? Or, would he choose one of those 4 teams? The answer is obvious. I do not see how the CUBS have any chance of signing Tanaka. If you disagree, please explain to me how you think Tanaka chooses the CUBS???

        • Brp921

          I don’t know who Tanaka will pick, or if the Cubs will even be involved in the bidding, but I think to just blindly assume he would not have any interest in signing with the Cubs if the money is close is wrong. It’s all in how they sell themselves and what motivates Tanaka. Chicago is a great city. The Cubs have an up and coming farm system with some great prospects. The owner grew up a Cubs fan and wants to win…again I’m not making any predictions but it all depends on the player and what his motivations are.

          • Larry Schwimmer

            Well…reasonable men differ. I think we both have a better chance of shaking hands with Santa in the next 10 days than the CUBS have a chance of signing Tanaka. Unless Tanaka’s father was a life-long CUB fan — I don’t on what basis you’d have any optimism? I hope I am totally wrong, because I’d like Tanaka to pitch for the CUBS. :) Happy Holidays!

          • Ripsnorter1

            I would agree with your assessment. And until proven wrong,
            I think it is a reasonable assessment.

          • Brp921

            I said in my post I wasn’t making any predictions. I just won’t assume the Cubs or any other team wouldn’t have a chance to sign him.

          • BosephHeyden

            The “great city, great tradition” bit only works when we’re talking about 30+ year old free agents giving their “Why I Chose the Cubs Besides Them Offering Me More Money Than Any Other Team Would” speech. And the owner being a fan is irrelevant. I’m sure the owners of the other four teams all like their teams and REALLY want their teams to win (and have had them do so).

            If the Cubs are just close, then, as Larry pointed out, the only way the Cubs are winning his services is if Tanaka has a family member that is a diehard fan or if Tanaka himself is a closet diehard Cubs fan. The only realistic way he goes to the Cubs is if they throw an extra few million a year at him. Otherwise, taking the same money in the hopes that the farm system might pan out is a bad gamble.

          • Larry Schwimmer

            Thanks for seconding my point. The reality is that the CUBS need this 3-4 year period to bring their team to the playing level of the PIRATES, et. al. I think the Owners are a bunch of rich yokels who make ridiculous long-term agreements with 31 year old players who will never live up to their contract. A smart GM is not going to build his ball club around signing a bunch of those players like the ANGELS have. The CARDINALS are a beautiful model of the way to run a franchise. I think the THEO & Company are doing the right thing. We’ve all waited for many years. We can wait 2-3 years more.

    • paulcatanese

      Nope, not a chance.

  • GaryLeeT

    If (and and it’s a big if) Tanaka is posted, and the Cubs sign him, Samardzija will sign an extension shortly after, because he will see it as a sign the Cubs want to win in the near future.

  • paulcatanese

    IMO, if Barney is traded to the Yankees, I would venture to say one would see a different player out there.
    Has to be a big boost in the confidence department for him. To think that he was brought over to them to replace Cano (not in the hitting) but to be in a situation of a possibility of a World Series ring and wanted by a team instead of being chastised for his lack of hitting has to be big for him.
    I look, if he is traded or purchased by the Yankees is a plus for him. I hope it gets done.

    • John_CC

      I agree Paul, it would be very nice for Barney. But you make it sound like he has been treated poorly by the Cubs, when was he chastised for his lack of hitting? Aside from the peanut gallery here?

      • Ripsnorter1

        Neil,
        I have a question:
        Is calling posters “peanut gallery” the same as calling people out?
        And is that a nick name?
        Or is that offensive?
        Or is that okay?

        I just wanted to know what category that falls in.

        • John_CC

          Come on man, lighten up. Essentially all the entire sports blogosphere is is a huge peanut gallery. Isn’t it?

          • Ripsnorter1

            John,
            I didn’t take any offense at what you said. I am not trying to get you in trouble.
            But I want to know if the street only has one side, or two. That’s all.

          • GaryLeeT

            The term “peanut gallery” infers that members of it, are uneducated, and their opinions are unimportant. That’s not really an indifferent reference.

          • John_CC

            For crying out loud, I meant no offense to anyone. I consider myself a senior member of said gallery with everyone here. I think you’re a little sensitive.

          • GaryLeeT

            Take it easy there big guy. I wasn’t chastising you, Just passing along some information…

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually looking it up, it seems very fitting for a way to describe all of us on blogs.

            “A peanut gallery was, in the days of vaudeville, a nickname for the cheapest (and ostensibly rowdiest) seats in the theater, the occupants of which were often known to heckle.[1]

            The least expensive snack served at the theater would often be peanuts, which the patrons would sometimes throw at the performers on stage to show their disapproval. The phrases “no comments from the peanut gallery” or “quiet in the peanut gallery” are extensions of the name, meaning the commoner should defer to their betters.[1]”

            “In recent times, the term has taken on new meanings with the advent of social networks and online chat rooms. “Peanut gallery” may also refer to a social network audience that passively observes a syndicated web feedor chat room[citation needed]. Alternatively, it may refer to the stream of open comments visible on certain types of blogs.[3]“

          • GaryLeeT

            Noun1.peanut gallery – (figurative) people whose criticisms are regarded as irrelevant or insignificant (resembling uneducated people who throw peanuts on the stage to express displeasure with a performance); “he ignored complaints from the peanut gallery”

            Source: Free Dictionary

          • Tony_Hall

            There are more.

            http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=peanut%20gallery

            Are you thinking Buffalo Bob used it in a derogatory way?

            peanut gallery

            term used on the ’50s tv show “Howdy Doody” for the audience of kids.

            Buffalo Bob would say “Let’s ask the peanut gallery”, refering to the kids in the audience

          • GaryLeeT

            Thankfully, Howdy Doody predates me, although I did know that is what he called his child audience. Maybe he was referring to their size? Any way, I don’t think John meant any harm, I was just letting him know others might think of that term in a different way.

          • Tony_Hall

            Pre-dates me as well, but I remembered it from when a boss of mine used this same term to call the group of us that were on-site (traveling) one of our group took it as offensive. He explained it that way.

            Unfortunately, we are in a society that is far, far too sensitive. I think I will stop now.

        • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

          Thank you for pointing out what someone else said. I try to take Saturday evenings and nights off to spend with my family. I will do a better job of policing the site while with my family from this point forward.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Neil,
            I am not complaining. I do not think you need to do a better job policing the site while with your family. I want you and other posters to know that I have nothing but
            good will towards everyone on this site. I have to say I greatly enjoy all of the posters without
            exception. I was not trying to get John or anyone else in trouble. I apologize for any and all
            offensive remarks I have made. I wasn’t trying to be offensive when I wrote them. I will try to be non-offensive in the future. And I have taken no offense at what anyone else has written, and will try to continue to do the same.

            My point is this:
            I just thought the correction ran down a one way street, based upon one’s viewpoint.
            That’s all.

            Have a great Chrismas season, and best wishes for 2014 and beyond to you and yours.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            I really appreciate your response. I apologize for the delay in responding today. Had a couple of life’s curveballs to deal with.

            Let’s just put the last week behind us and move on.

            I hope you and your family have a tremendous Holiday season.

            Thanks again man.

      • paulcatanese

        Aside from the posters, no one can say that the Cubs front office and Barney himself don’t feel that way about his hitting, they may not say it, but they
        know it in their hearts.
        No, he has not been chastised by the Cubs, or treated poorly by them, but his hitting has been a fact and they both know it.
        And I agree, it has been acknowledged by the posters that he is having a tough time hitting.
        A change of scenery would be good for him as it was for Soriano.

      • Tom U

        Read this:

        en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peanut_gallery

        • John_CC

          I never knew the origination of the phrase. Makes sense though. But I think I am missing your point Tom.

          • Tom U

            No point, just passing on the info.

        • Tony_Hall

          Sorry Tom, thought I scrolled through this part of the thread to the end before reposting what you had already posted.

      • Ripsnorter1

        I am puzzled why Cashman wants Barney.
        Yes, he has a glove. But to replace Cano with Barney opens up a whole
        can of opportunities for the fans and press to attack him for replacing a big offensive
        threat with the worst offensive threat in MLB the past 3 years (based on OBP, 1500 AB min).

        Why do you think Cashman couldn’t find a better replacement for cheap?

        • John_CC

          Yeah I have a hard time believing he would be signed as a starter. You’re right that going from the best offensive player at his position to one of the worst could be really bad on a few levels. I don’t think the fans will be all too pleased with FO after a move like that. The offense upgrade at C isn’t going to come close to the loss of Cano.

          • paulcatanese

            While it’s hard to replace Cano, I think you and Rip are missing one little point here. If Barney goes to New York, he probably will start at second base for them, until they can bring in what they want.
            And think about Jeter, if he goes down or needs rest, who better with the glove to slide over than Barney.
            I believe Barney would get a lost of playing time there, just not as a starter but coming in where needed, second or short and give the Yankees a good defensive replacement at both spots.

        • Tony_Hall

          Cashman is running out of, CASH?

          The article concludes like this: “Are the Yankees having a bad offseason? No. Cashman is doing a fine job. But his work is far from over. Rare is the team that spends $300 million and remains this far from looking like a viable contender.”

          http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/new-york-yankees-spend-big-in-offseason-but-work-incomplete-especially-pitching-121413

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Nicknames and calling posters out on this site is not allowed.

        Thank you.

        • John_CC

          I am really sorry for not thinking before posting, Neil. I hope you can get back to your family time and enjoy.

          Signing off. Goodnight.

          • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

            Thank you for apologizing. I appreciate it.

  • Tom U
    • TheWrongGuy

      Good stuff Tom thanks for the info!
      Hopefully the rest of the FO will let him advance and start the season at Kane County this year.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    There was a minor league team I use to watch that made every Tuesday Night home game “Hole in the Wall Gang Night” …..I am sure glad I only went only to the weekend games now that offer $1 food nights..
    These baseball slang terms people are using have a whole new meaning it seems in today’s society.

  • Steven Petty

    How about a trade to the south siders. Olt for De Jaza? White Sox need a 3B and the Cubs get an outfielder that could lead off?

    • Tony_Hall

      Don’t the Cubs needs a 3B?

      • Ripsnorter1

        De Aza has a very poor glove. In CF last year, he was worth an extra 18 runs for
        the opposition. And that was in 105 starts there. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t
        want him, but it may mean that Team Theo would reject him due to their philosophy.

        De Aza was better in LF, but still a negative two runs in 79 games.

        Olt: I’d trade him. I fear his injury could be career threatening.
        In 2012, the Rangers would not trade him. But in 2013,
        he is a throw in on the Matt Garza rental trade. It tells you something
        about the Rangers’ viewpoint.

        • Tony_Hall

          Olt will be traded at some point, but if they can rebuild his value and then be pushed by Baez, Bryant, Villaneuva, etc, we could get another nice return for a player, and have many internal options. That is why I feel they want Olt to win the job in ST, he would have value then, and Valbuena and Murphy are just fillers and throw ins on the trade market.

      • Ripsnorter1

        What’s you thinking about Donny Murphy in 2013?
        Will he make the team?
        Will he share time with Valbuena?
        If they trade Barney, will he get the 3B job?
        What do you see as his production for 2013?

        I expect a fall off from the stellar stats he produced in 2013.
        If he can hit .250 with .425 slugging, I would think that is a decent
        campaign for him. But his glove may cost him a job.
        His career 3B is -11 runs per year.

        Valbuena saved 6 runs in 2013. Career average is to save 10 runs per year.
        But he is a poor SS: -33 runs per year is the career average.

        • Tony_Hall

          I am not sure how 3B will end up. Like I have said many times they have Murphy and Valbuena at 3B and are hoping Olt wins the job in ST, but are not handing him the job

          No way do I expect Murphy to build on his 2013 season. That was his season in the sun, that he can always remember.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I agree about Murphy. But can he hit .250 with .425 slugging?
            That is the question that I hope he can do or better.

            “Blue hope.”

          • Tony_Hall

            I would think so, but if he makes the roster, I would sure prefer as the 5th guy on the bench.

          • Tony_Hall

            Started a little trouble yesterday??

          • Ripsnorter1

            Are you talking to me?

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL, I guess we can say John, but I thought it was pretty innocent and actually quite fitting for all of us.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I should probably just stop right here. : )

            It’s cold outside, what do you think? Will the sun shine today? LOL

            I love the CCO. I don’t always agree with Tony Hall though. LOL
            I love the interaction with all the posters, even those who disagree with me.
            And I have nothing but good will for all of them.

            I think you and I need to hit a MiL game this summer. We’ll critique the
            Cubs’ low A players.

          • Tony_Hall

            Absolutely, we don’t need to wait for our favorite Texan to come up and visit to go to a game. I actually get near you almost every week. Not sure what direction you go each day, but could we could meet for coffee (coffee house in Cedarville just re-opened) or a Pepsi at the end of the day, almost anytime.

          • Ripsnorter1

            WOW! I didn’t realize you are that close. That’s within 5 miles!

          • Tony_Hall

            I cover 2 of our sales districts, one is Freeport area, that goes up to Monroe and down to Dixon to Rock Falls up 2. Everything but Winnebago county to the Mississippi. The other district is Janesville area.

            I haven’t been to your town for anything yet, but my job is looking for new business, so I can always meet you there as well. Especially this week, I have a very flexible schedule to go where I think I can find business.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Send me your email via Neil. We’ll do it. : )

          • Tony_Hall

            Done!

          • Ripsnorter1

            Speaking of favorite Texans…

            I am going to get down to Austin. I don’t know how or when, but
            I just know I am going to get down there, and when I do,
            I am going to make he take me to those Texas BBQ places, and he’s buying.

            LOL

          • Tony_Hall

            LOL, I would love to do that as well. I am serious about moving there someday (not sure if Austin specifically).

          • paulcatanese

            Austin would never be the same:)
            Seriously I have been there, very cool place to visit ( not the heat), but good restaurants and sports. Too bad I didn’t know Cubtex at the time. Wow, you, Rip and Cubtex, all in the same place at the same time:)

  • Pingback: Braves Appear Out of the Running for Jeff Samardzija and Other Cubs News and Rumors - Chicago Cubs Online