At the trade deadline, the Cubs' roster was jam-packed with trade bait that potential contenders were interested in. Four guys have already been dealt and several others (Alfonso Soriano?, Jeff Baker?, Carlos Marmol?) could potentially find their way through waivers in August.
One such guy that drew some attention was Darwin Barney, who is rated as the sixth-most valuable player in the NL with a 4.4 WAR. His defensive WAR sits at 3.3, a full 1.5 wins above Starlin Castro, who comes in at second place.
Barney's stellar glove also earned him the best defensive player award for July from ESPN's SweetSpot blog. He barely edged out Josh Reddick of the Athletics and Mark Teixeira of the Yankees.
The 26-year-old second baseman has benefited greatly from the increased emphasis on defensive positioning from the Cubs' coaching staff this year, but he's made all the plays when they've come his way, with only two errors on the season, one of which came at shortstop.
Barney has saved 27 runs so far this season with his glove, including eight in July alone.
While his average and on-base percentage have remained pretty stagnant since the start of last season, his slugging percentage his increased almost 40 points this year. They always say winning a Gold Glove is about hitting well enough for the rest of the league to take notice of your defense, and it's quite possible Barney could be in line for his first such award.
He doesn't turn 27 until November, so it could also be the first of many Gold Gloves.