Rangers sign Barney to Minor League deal

February 5th, 2018

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have signed veteran utility infielder to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training. Barney is considered an excellent defensive player who has not hit as well as expected at the Major League level.

Barney, the Cubs' primary second baseman from 2011-13, has spent the past two seasons as a utility infielder for the Blue Jays. In '17, he played 73 games at second, 44 at third and 10 at shortstop. He also started one game in left field.

The Rangers have three out of their four infield positions set with at third, at short and at second. There is also a possibility that Joey Gallo could be the regular first baseman.

Given that Beltre is 38 years old and has a history of injuries, depth at third base could be crucial for the Rangers. Barney has started 59 games in his eight-year career at third base.

Barney's primary position is second base, where he won a National League Gold Glove Award for his defense in 2012.

A right-handed hitter, Barney batted .232 with a .275 on-base and a .327 slugging percentage with the Blue Jays this past season. The 32-year-old has a career slash line of .246/.294/.341.

Barney's competition for the utility infield spot includes , who is out of options and must make the team out of Spring Training or he will have to be designated for assignment and be exposed to outright waivers. The Rangers also have infield depth in , who missed all of last season because of surgery on his right shoulder, and , who can also play the outfield.