From the Wire: Cubs Designate Darwin Barney for Assignment, Activate Emilio Bonifacio from DL

The Cubs announced two roster moves Tuesday afternoon. The Cubs designated INF Darwin Barney for assignment to make room on the active roster for Emilio Bonifacio. Bonifacio has been on the 15-day DL since June 13 with a right oblique strain.

Darwin Barney was the third longest tenured player on the Cubs roster after the trade with Oakland earlier in the month. Barney was not able to get on track enough with the bat for the Cubs to trade him before the deadline. The Cubs still have 10 days to trade Barney or he will be granted his release.

By designating Darwin Barney for assignment, a spot was opened on the 40-man roster which currently stands at 39 players. Kyuji Fujikawa appears to be close to return from Tommy John surgery. Fujikawa reported to Iowa Monday to continue his rehab assignment. Fujikawa is on the 60-day DL and does not count against the 40-man roster. The Cubs had to open a spot for him to be activated and could use the spot created by designating Darwin Barney for assignment.

The Cubs active roster stands at 25 players with Emilio Bonifacio activated and Kyle Hendricks officially recalled from Iowa. The Cubs will have to make another roster move prior to Wednesday’s game in order to recall LHP Tsuyoshi Wada.

The former National League Gold Glover was 15-for-39 over his last 10 games with two doubles and two triples for a .385/.385/.538 line with a .923 OPS but for the season, Darwin Barney was hitting only .230/.265/.328 with 10 doubles, two triples, two home runs and a .594 OPS.

PrintDarwin Barney managed a .208/.266/.303 line last season with 25 doubles, a triple, seven home runs and a .569 OPS. Barney’s best season was in 2011 when he hit .276/.313/.354 in 143 games with 23 doubles, six triples, two home runs and a .666 OPS.

The Cubs and Darwin Barney avoided arbitration on a $2.3 million contract for the 2014 season. The Cubs owe Barney less than $1 million for the remainder of the season.

After a hot start, Emilio Bonifacio cooled off before he hit the DL in June. In 61 games, Bonifacio was managing a .261/.307/.340 line with 10 doubles, three triples, a home run and a .648 OPS.

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  • John G

    And so it begins. I expect to start seeing some of the young guns coming up and by next year, we should be competitive. By “competitive” I mean a good shot at being a .500+ ball club. I’m stoked.

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  • Ray Koenig

    It’s about time. Now send Lake and Olt down.

    • Cubs_8

      I think Olt should have been optioned rather than DFAing Barney. Barney has been hitting lately and Olt needs a reset.

      Lake and Olt are both in the lineup tonight, maybe it’s put up or shut up time for them both for the 2014 season?

      • paulcatanese

        Agree, at least Barney knew what the game was about and is hitting better than Olt and Lake. Bonifacio is at best a punch and judy hitter and is no where near the glove, and older. Then again, he is a hometown pick. I do not think anyone would be seeking him as well.

        • Chris K.

          Bonifacio can play anywhere on the diamond, he’s got more value than Barney.

        • Tony_H

          Which player are you calling the hometown pick?

        • John_CC

          Bonafacio may well be a punch and judy hitter, but please do not try to tell us that Barney is anything but that, if even that. He’s on a decent little streak, but come on Paul, Barney hasn’t hit for almost 2 years. Another way to look at it is that he has never really hit except for his 2011 rookie season in which he hit .275/.313/.350. That is his best season in the majors.

          When I read the headline I felt kind of bad, I always feel a little sad for a guy like Barney – a hard-working team-player that has to work even harder to make up for less natural ability than his competitors – that gets let go. I love to root for the underdogs Paul.

          But then I questioned why should I really feel bad for Darwin Barney? He won a Gold Glove, he’s still been paid more than most of us will ever earn in our lives, for playing baseball for 4 years. He’ll get picked up and play again. And finally, he just isn’t that good! He has a great glove but that isn’t enough. He can’t hit Period. There are lots and lots of slick fielding kids that can’t hit. He had his shot. I liked the way he played. I won’t miss him tomorrow.

          And one more move needs to be made. Contrary to your bias, Paul, this FO isn’t going to hold onto guys like Olt just because they picked him up. In all reality, they’ve held Barney too long, and he’s not one of “their” players, which I’m sick of hearing frankly.

          • Theboardrider

            I rooted for Barney too. And I think suggesting that the FO has any sort of bias toward a player because of anything other than talent is crazy. This is the most accomplished front office in baseball and from all accounts relatively humble. These guys don’t make moves to feed their egos. Any FO can get a woody for a particular player and give them more leeway than others, but so far I haven’t seen them do that with anyone other than Rizzo. You could also argue they did it with Barney as well. Most thought he should have been sent down a long time ago. But he’s a Theo type of player. Blue collar, hard worker, overachiever, team first. He’s the type the FO wants to succeed and they gave him many chances.

  • DWalker

    a bittersweet moment. he’s a good guy with a great glove and I hope he finds a nice spot as a defensive specilist on a team that can afford it.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Wish Darwin Barney the best. He’s got an excellent glove and has made quite a few highlight reels with his excellent defense. His ability to play shortstop as well someone will pick him up.

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Hopefully Bonifacio comes back hitting and he’s gone soon.

  • daverj

    Barney will likely end up with a contender in a utility roll. I’m happy for him.

  • The Dude Abides

    Surprising they couldn’t get any team to trade for him. Always thought he would bring back a low A ball player or two or as others have suggested be a throw in on a bigger deal. I guess we over valued him since he’s been on our MLB roster for so long.

  • Eugene Debs

    Remember when some of you swore up and down we’d get a decent prospect for Barney?

    • Tony_H

      It’s not a perfect system and value can change at any time. But when other teams know you have a roster issue, why would they offer much when they can try to get him for nothing or for just picking up what’s left of his contract on waivers?

      • Eugene Debs

        All true.

        • Theboardrider

          I don’t know if “swore up and down,” is as accurate as hoped beyond hope. I still hold out hope someone will make a lowball, change of scenery type. Probably not, but I won’t give up on it just yet.

  • SuzyS

    From the get go, I believed Barney was a back up player forced to be a starter
    because the Cubs lacked any alternatives. He IS a good guy and teammate….I do believe he gave the Cubs his best and was incredible at defense. I wish him well in his career and life. Thanks for your effort Darwin.

    • Theboardrider

      Good, class post Suzy…I’d have thumbs upped it more than once if I could have.

    • texcubnut

      Could not have been said any better, Suzy.

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