UPDATE 3/19/2014 at 10:37 AM: Perhaps there's some legs to this after all...
Tigers top executive watching Barney and Schierholtz. Story@670TheScore
— Bruce Levine (@MLBBruceLevine) March 19, 2014
Now we wait.
While the Cubs determine whether they would like to score a run (or another run, in the case of Vegas), we were hit with this little bit of news:
Iglesias will miss most of 2014 with shin injury according to another player that is close to him. Speculation that Tigers will pursue Drew
— JIM BOWDEN (@JimBowdenESPNxm) March 15, 2014
...and just as I said that, Brett Jackson hit a homer. We're gonna SCORE! But I digress.
The reason I'm interested in the Tigers here is because if they determine that it's not quite worth it to pursue Stephen Drew (who comes with a qualifying offer/draft pick compensation), they will still need an every day shortstop. According to the Tigers' depth chart, their backup shortstop, now that Jose Iglesias is out, is Steve Lombardozzi, who hit about as poorly as a guy named Darwin Barney. Lombardozzi is probably not nearly as good of a shortstop as Barney though, playing there sparingly while Barney only moved off SS to accommodate Starlin Castro.
Barney wasn't on our original blog detailing the potential trade suitors, but things happen all the time in baseball that throw a wrench in the cogs of even the best-laid plans. Just like with that post, we have no illusions that a Darwin Barney can bring back an impact player. However, a defense-first player who can play shortstop (at least his reputation in the past has suggested that he can) has the kind of value that can bring back someone with upside. We'll just throw this one on the wall and see if it sticks, but let's anticipate a return of someone like this guy (h/t Bless You Boys).
This is, of course, predicated on what the Tigers decide. If they end up signing Stephen Drew, the point is moot. However, if they elect to keep their draft pick and try Barney out, the left side of their infield should be strengthened from when it was manned by Miguel Cabrera (who moved back to first base after the Prince Fielder trade) and Jhonny Peralta (now with the Cardinals). Having an improved defense behind an elite pitching staff carries tons of value. Then again, the Tigers probably don't have all that much competition in the AL Central given the other teams' flaws.
Just thinking out loud, but gotta keep our eyes open.