The Los Angeles Dodgers made their first splash in the 2014 trade season.
Splash is a strong word. It was kind of like they threw a pebble into the Pacific Ocean. But hey, it’s something to write about.
Monday afternoon, the Dodgers acquired recently DFA’d Chicago Cubs second baseman Darwin Barney. The Dodgers also received cash from the Cubs, and will send the Cubs a player to be named later.
This move is the Rosie O’Donnell of sexy moves. Just, no. It does, however, accomplish two things.
Barney is statistically one of the worst offensive players in baseball. He’s a career .244 hitter with little power and speed. His rookie season was his best offensive season in the majors, and he hit .276 with two home runs, nine stolen bases, and a .353 slugging percentage.
Barney isn’t a Dodger for his bat. However, Barney is statistically one of the best defensive second basemen in baseball. Barney is basically Miguel Rojas. He’s gonna come in and be a late inning defensive replacement for Hanley Ramirez and maybe keep Clayton Kershaw‘s future perfect game in tact. I was at that game. I’m still mad at Hanley about that error.
More importantly, Barney being a Dodger means Barney isn’t a Giant. About a week ago, the Giants acquired Dan Uggla. All 30 of you Dodger fans with Time Warner saw how that worked out for them this weekend. If you didn’t see, Uggla went 0-8 over the weekend with a walk, and made four errors at second base as the Dodgers swept the Giants to take over first place in the West.
The Giants are still looking to solidify second base. It’s a small sample size, but it should be obvious that Uggla isn’t the answer at second. The Giants might have their eyes on another second baseman.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 28, 2014
Unfortunately for the Giants, the Rays have won eight of their last nine and are now 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot, so I find it unlikely that they will move Zobrist.
Barney is a better player than Uggla. And the Dodgers gave up virtually nothing to get him. Barney still has his options so 2017 is the earliest that he can be a free agent, and he is still only 28. He’s not in LA to become a starter, but he’s a nice late inning defensive player that will likely mean the end of Chone Figgins‘ Dodger career. A bench with Barney, Justin Turner, Andre Ethier, Carl Crawford/Scott Van Slyke and Drew Butera is solid and Barney can be a difference maker with his glove.