The Los Angeles Dodgers made a minor move Monday, acquiring infielder Darwin Barney from the Chicago Cubs in a deal that was first reported to be close by the Chicago Tribune's Mark Gonzales, and later confirmed by MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo. Chicago will also send the Dodgers $500,000 (per MLB.com's Carrie Muskat), and in return, will receive a player to be named later.
The Cubs' starting second baseman since 2011, Barney was designated for assignment last week in order to make room for top prospect Arismendy Alcantara to receive regular playing time. Barney was reportedly drawing plenty of trade interest, with the Cubs actively trying to deal him before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline.
The 28-year-old Barney is well-regarded for his defensive chops, but limited by his meager hitting abilities. For his career, Barney is a .244/.290/.335 hitter and owns a 5.4 WAR, largely due to a pair of outlier seasons in 2011 and 2012 that saw his gaudy defensive metrics make up for any negative value produced with his bat. Barney was hitting .230/.265/.328 with a 0.3 WAR in 217 plate appearances this year before being DFA'd.
Barney is a relatively low-risk, cheap proposition, making just about $800,000 over the remainder of the season. He is arbitration eligible this winter, but there is a strong probability that he will wind up being non-tendered.
With Dee Gordon entrenched at the keystone, it's unlikely that Barney will be seeing regular playing time in Los Angeles. He should provide value for the Dodgers as a late-innings defensive option, usable at both second and shortstop, where the defensively liable Hanley Ramirez roams.