Last week the Cubs designated infielder Darwin Barney for assignment and now Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that they’re close to trading him to the Dodgers.
Barney was the Cubs’ starting second baseman for three-and-a-half seasons, but with several high-upside prospects knocking on the door to the majors they decided sticking with a good-glove, no-hit player wasn’t worthwhile.
Barney is a career .244 hitter with a .625 OPS and he’s posted a sub-.300 on-base percentage in three straight seasons. He’s more suited to be a utility man than a starter at age 28.
UPDATE: Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that the Cubs will receive a player to be named later in exchange for Barney. It’s a done deal now.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.