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Addition By Subtraction?: Cubs Trade Barrett

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 20, 2007 7:15PM

In a trade that was surprising in its swiftness, the Cubs traded embattled catcher and "good guy" Michael Barrett (or "number 8" for those of you who don't visit Wrigley Field for the baseball) and cash to the San Diego Padres for backup catcher Rob Bowen and minor league prospect Kyler Burke.

The trade closes the book on Barrett's three-plus years as a Cub, a time marked by emotional outbursts, an uncontrollable temper, suspect defensive play and game-calling tendencies, a lack of respect by his pitchers and eventually a loss of confidence in Barrett by manager Lou Piniella. The past month alone has seen karate enthusiast Barrett have his ass handed to him by Carlos Zambrano during a loss to the Atlanta Braves and a spirited argument in the dugout with Rich Hill during a loss to Seattle. Of course, any discussion of Barrett's time in Chicago is incomplete without mention of this:

Since the Zambrano fight, Barrett has seen his playing time go more and more to backup catcher Koyie Hill, who's patience has calmed the pitching staff; Zambrano's last three quality starts were with Hill behind the plate. With Henry Blanco still on the DL with an injured neck, the addition of Bowen gives the Cubs some flexibility at catcher, should Blanco not return. The Cubs will certainly miss Barrett's offensive game. Even though GM Jim Hendry said the recent events with Zambrano and Hill had nothing to do with the trade, it was obvious that Piniella would rather go with a light-hitting, solid defensive catcher in Hill than Barrett.