It’s going to take more than one story or one blog entry to grasp the full scope of what’s happened to the Dodgers roster since the end of the season. I wrote this today. It’s a start. Mostly, it’s a look ahead to what the 2015 Dodgers could look like. What changes could happen between now and then?
MILWAUKEE–Darwin Barney’s flight landed here at 5 a.m. Sunday. A new uniform was waiting for him at Miller Park with number 30 on his back. A new position was waiting for him, too.
Barney, a second baseman for most of his professional life, might need to help the Dodgers more at shortstop — one of two positions (along with third base) he was asked to learn at Triple-A Albuquerque. Hanley Ramirez strained his right oblique muscle in the batting cage Friday and was placed on the 15-day disabled list for the first time this season, retroactive to Saturday.
Ramirez underwent an MRI scan Sautrday. Results have not been made available to the media.
Barney said he’s comfortable playing shortstop. He played three innings Saturday night in Las Vegas with Albuquerque, then flew out at 11:30 pm.
Update (12:30 p.m.): The trade is official. The Dodgers acquire Barney and cash from the Cubs for a player to be named later. Barney hasbeen added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster so there is no corresponding move at the moment.
Barney, 28, is hitting 230/.265/.328 in 217 plate appearances with the Cubs this season. Known for his defense, Barney’s Ultimate Zone Rating per 150 games is +15.5. He’s got +7 Defensive Runs Saved this season and +46 over the past three seasons, first in the majors.
Prior to being designated for assignment by the Cubs, Barney had hit safely in eight of his previous 10 games, batting .385 (15-for-39) with two doubles, two triples and an RBI since July 1. He hit .230 with two home runs and 16 RBI in 72 games overall.
Update (2:06 p.m.): Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said via text message: “We added him because we believe he is a plus defender who can play second, short and third.”