According to a report from Bruce Levine, the Tigers have their top scout, Scott Reid, watching the Cubs this week. The Tigers are interested in Darwin Barney and Nate Schierholtz as possible replacements for shortstop Jose Iglesias and outfielder Andy Dirks.
Levine reported last week the Tigers and Cubs discussed a deal involving either Nate Schierholtz or Ryan Sweeney. And now the Tigers are apparently interested in trading for Darwin Barney again. Levine pointed out that Detroit has had interest in Barney for the last two years.
The Cubs would be asking for pitching in any deal involving Darwin Barney and/or Nate Schierholtz. Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer have been trying to acquire Rick Porcello from Detroit since they took over the team two-plus years ago. But with Anibal Sanchez receiving a cortisone shot in his shoulder, Porcello might not be as available as was reported earlier this spring.
Darwin Barney would be an affordable option for a Tigers team expected to compete for a World Series title this season. Barney is under team control through the 2016 season after agreeing to a $2.3 million contract to avoid arbitration last month. Barney is penciled in as the Cubs’ starting second baseman, Jed Hoyer reiterated Barney is the Cubs’ second baseman on Wednesday morning, but he has received a lot of playing time at short this spring with Starlin Castro unavailable due to the right hamstring strain.
The Tigers search for a left-handed hitting outfielder was put on the backburner when it was determined Iglesias would be out for a majority of the season with shin splints. Detroit is apparently trying to fill both holes in its roster now. It is believed that Dave Dombrowski would prefer to fill shortstop with internal options, as Jayson Stark reported Wednesday morning. Stark also reported several scouts indicated the Tigers have been asking teams if they have any available shortstops.
The Cubs currently have 40 players on the 40-man roster. The front office will receive one roster spot once Kyuji Fujikawa is placed on the 60-day DL. One spot will have to be cleared for Emilio Bonifacio. And with Ryan Kalish healthy and producing, a spot for him on the roster will have to be opened up as well and his performance this spring could have sped up the front office’s timeline on dealing Nate Schierholtz.