General manager Alex Anthopoulos wanted to address the infield situation after starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki cracked his left shoulder blade during a collision with center fielder Kevin Pillar on Saturday afternoon. Tulowitzki is out for at least the next two to three weeks but the Blue Jays hope to have him back for October.
"Right now we're down a middle infielder for at least two weeks," Anthopoulos said shortly after the trade was announced. "He's a great glove, he's a right-handed bat, good teammate as well, he's going to fit into our clubhouse. But our big thing is we want to stay as strong defensively up the middle as we can. Barney, from everything we have internally, from a defensive standpoint, is every bit as good as [Ryan] Goins."
Barney won a Gold Glove Award at second base while playing for the Cubs in 2012, but he spent the vast majority of this season in Triple-A, hitting .277 with 15 doubles, four home runs and 31 RBIs. The 29-year-old is a career .245 hitter in 566 games at the big league level, with two of those taking place in 2015.
Goins is expected to start at shortstop during Tulowitzki's absence, while veteran infielder Cliff Pennington will take over the everyday duties at second. That leaves Barney and Munenori Kawasaki as the backup infielders during the final stretch of the year. Devon Travis would have been an option, but he's still expected to miss the rest of the season with a strained left shoulder.
"It wasn't what I envisioned when I signed back with L.A.," said Barney, who thought his season was over when the Dodgers didn't add him to the roster when the Minor League season was completed. "Obviously I had a good spring, broke with the team, and things didn't work out in that regard. They didn't trade who they thought they would trade, stuff like that. That's baseball.
"You've got to grind, keep playing the game you like to play. This is an opportunity for me to play real baseball again, try to help this team any way I can. They lost a huge piece in Troy. It's hard to replace that but I'll go out there, I'll catch the ball and do what I can to help them get where they want to be."