With respect to Darwin Barney, Blake DeWitt and any other Cub who's sniffed the second base bag, a high priority on Thejedeo's list needs to be the vast improvement of most of the lineup. This doesn't necessarily begin at second base, but it certainly wouldn't hurt to upgrade here, unless the team is comfortable with having a guy whose offensive numbers are pretty atrocious across the board.
Fortunately for Darwin, his mediocre numbers are probably just good enough for the Cubs to shrug their shoulders and say, "Oh well, guess we should first do something about the black vortex of suck that projects to be third base next year." Nevertheless, if Thejedeo are keen on a few cheap rolls of the dice, who am I to disagree?
Your free agent options are as follows:
A bunch of guys who are 2-3 years removed from their last good offensive season and a bunch of other guys who are already planning how to invest their baseball pensions in the near future.
To be more specific: Jose Lopez (aged 27), was a 17-20 homerun kind of second baseman a few years back, although he never got his OPS above .766 which says a lot about his empty-calorie approach.
Kelly Johnson (aged 29) is coming off a 21-homer, .222 AVG, .717 OPS season in which he split time between the desert and the arctic. In 2010, Johnson batted .284 with 79 walks, 26 homeruns and a .866 OPS.
Aaron Hill (aged 29) was traded from Toronto to Arizona for Kelly Johnson. During the 2009 season, Hill put up awesome stats - 36 homers, 108 RBI, a .829 OPS ... since then, he's been a hot contender for the Rick Wilkins Award.
Jack Wilson (aged 33) is still playing baseball. ...that's pretty much all I have on him that's noteworthy, except that he's apparently Pittsburgh's equivalent of Kerry Wood - they see in him all the promise that was never met, all the hopes that were wasted on wondering what might've been. Kind of like how I feel when I look back on the last time I was at Five Guys and chose the hot dogs over their amazing burgers.
Alternatively, Jamey Carroll (who I swear is the illegitimate child of political pundit James Carville* is available. Carroll is 37, regularly puts up an OPS of .700ish, steals a modest amount of bases, could come cheaply, and could play other positions once it became clear that he should in no way, shape, or form be starting at second base on a daily basis.
(*c'mon! Jamey Carroll. James Carville. I'm just saying.)
So ... trade?
Presuming the Cubs address this weak-ass position in any way, it will likely come in one of two forms: a) the Cubs sign an inexpensive veteran (like Carroll) who will serve in a variety of backup roles or 2) epic, unexpected trade of some kind.
The latter is unlikely. The former is not going to do much. But, remember - 2012 is going to be a really, really shitty season. Who knows - maybe if we're really lucky, Josh Vitters will prove not only major league capable, but major league ready! If so, perhaps he could handle a move over to second base ... otherwise, be prepared to sulk, Cub fans.