With the calendar approaching mid-June, this generally the time that Major League Baseball teams begin to identify their strategy for the MLB Trade Deadline on July 31. Typically, June is when the trades start to occur on a regular basis.
Like last season, the Chicago Cubs are expected to be one of the most active teams this season in terms of trades.
One player that has a likely chance of being dealt before the end of July is second baseman Darwin Barney.
Barney started the season as an everyday player but has now been resigned to a part-time role with minimal starting time. Despite the fact that Barney was seemingly demoted by the Cubs this season, the second baseman could have value around the league as an utility player.
2014 Season Outlook: On the season, Barney is hitting .198/.265/.292 while appearing in 44 games this season with the Cubs. Barney has seen his starting time be reduced this season in favor of Luis Valbuena and Emilio Bonifacio.
Why Trade Barney? The reason why the Cubs will trade Barney is because he has run out of value with the team. While Barney is a tremendous defensive player, his offensive limits him to being a part-time player. It is because of Barney’s offense that the second baseman has failed to establish himself as a part of the Cubs’ long-term plan. Therefore, that makes Barney expendable.
In-House Replacement? Arismendy Alcantara. Alcantara hardly gets mentioned with the likes of Javier Baez and Kris Bryant, but the Iowa Cubs’ second baseman should not be overlooked. Alcantara is ranked among the top 10 prospects in the Cubs’ system and is having a solid season with the Iowa Cubs this season. Alcantara is hitting .275/.312/.518 with the I-Cubs this season while also possessing an ISO of .243.
Alcantara projects as a utility player at the Major League level. Recently, Alcantara has been playing in the outfield with the I-Cubs.