Darwin Barney is back from the disabled list after missing the first two weeks with a lacerated knee, starting at second base and batting seventh for the Cubs tonight against the Rangers.
Barney suffered the injury during the final spring training game, so the Cubs turned to Alberto Gonzalez and Brent Lillibridge in a time-share at second base. They combined to hit .194 in Barney’s absence.
Lillibridge won’t stick around in a bench role, because as part of several moves today the Cubs designated him for assignment and claimed Cody Ransom off waivers.
The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.
Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.
Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.