The Rangers have been scouting Darwin Barney

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There is a pretty big demand for middle infielders among contending teams these days. The Yankees, the Tigers and now the Rangers either have age, injury or simple lack of quality to contend with among their infielders. And with Stephen Drew seemingly radioactive, there aren’t a lot of candidates around baseball to fill these holes.

There’s one in Chicago, though: T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the Rangers have been scouting the Cubs in recent days. Specifically, Darwin Barney, who would look pretty darn good in a playoff contender’s uniform. Other possibilities: Donnie Murphy and Luis Valbuena, though really, I’d want Barney if I could swing it.

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.